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Government and Opposition Divided Over Sequence of Elections

In the aftermath of the Election Commission’s official announcement setting the dates for the Presidential election between September 17 and October 16, a faction comprising both government and opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) has voiced concerns, favoring a parliamentary election beforehand, reports the Daily Mirror.

This development comes in response to statements made by Basil Rajapaksa, the founder of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), who reiterated his party’s stance advocating for the general election to precede the presidential one.

Apart from government MPs, a significant number of opposition MPs, predominantly from the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), also advocate for a general election, citing its potential to appeal to a broader voter base.

In light of these diverging views, President Ranil Wickremesinghe reportedly sought to persuade the government parliamentary group that the Presidential election must indeed occur this year as mandated by the Constitution.

While the Election Commission maintains that the Presidential election should be conducted this year, with the parliamentary election scheduled for 2025, the President holds the authority to dissolve Parliament and call for a snap general election.

However, insider sources indicate that the likelihood of the President dissolving Parliament to facilitate a parliamentary election ahead of the Presidential one is remote.

Meanwhile, Election Commission chief R.M.A.L. Ratnayake informed the Daily Mirror that the Presidential election will be officially declared between late July and early August, with nominations being called within the specified timeframe outlined in the Constitution of Sri Lanka and the Presidential Elections Act No. 15 of 1981.

Source – Dailymirror

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