Skip links

Presidential Election Campaigns Heat Up as Parties Vie for Crucial 50 Percent Vote Base

With the Presidential Election slated for the first week of October, political parties have launched extensive campaigns and engaged in closed-door discussions with parliamentarians, all in a bid to secure a fundamental 50 percent vote base necessary for victory.

UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has positioned himself as a national candidate, poised to contest under a new symbol, and has extended invitations to all political factions for their support.

Sources close to Wickremesinghe suggest that contesting under the elephant symbol may not ensure victory for the President. Therefore, he has urged even opposition parliamentarians to endorse his candidacy, targeting a 50 percent vote share. Notably, key MPs from the SLPP have already pledged their support, with discussions underway with SJB MPs expected to follow suit upon the official announcement of the Presidential election.

Despite ongoing negotiations, Wickremesinghe has yet to secure a comfortable 50 percent vote base. He may resort to forming alliances with other parliamentarians or parties to bolster his chances of winning.

Meanwhile, amidst internal divisions within the SLPP—some members supporting Wickremesinghe and others advocating for an independent candidate—the party, under the guidance of Basil Rajapaksa, will field its own contender. National Organizer Namal Rajapaksa confirmed the party’s intention to field a candidate bearing the pohotuwa symbol, although the candidate’s identity remains undecided.

Wickremesinghe has firmly stated his refusal to contest under the pohotuwa symbol, which could alienate him from representing the SLPP. However, even if the SLPP nominates its candidate, none of its senior members currently commands a 50 percent vote base, necessitating vigorous campaigning.

Sajith Premadasa, representing the main opposition SJB, faces internal challenges, with key members reportedly in discussions with Wickremesinghe, potentially dividing his voter base. Despite securing 40 percent of the vote in 2019, internal discord leaves Premadasa short of a 50 percent base.

Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the NPP, capitalizing on early campaigning since last year, continues efforts to secure the elusive 50 percent vote base. The party’s nationwide campaign aims to bolster support, yet its success remains uncertain.

Political analysts note a significant portion of voters remain undecided, adding suspense to the upcoming election. An official announcement regarding the Presidential election is anticipated post-Vesak in May, with key updates expected to follow suit. Source –

This website uses cookies to improve your web experience.