Based on a survey conducted by the UNP, the party is confident of winning 276 out of the 341 local government bodies at the February 10 polls, Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said yesterday.
He said the survey also indicated that the TNA would win 51 local government bodies in the North and East.
The deputy minister told the media that the UNP’s grassroots level organizations were functioning at their best and would help secure an overwhelming victory for the party.
“The grassroots level preparation for the election by the SLFP and the SLPP is week and disorganized while we have launched an aggressive and successful election propaganda campaign at ground level. The other political parties lack that advantage and thus our victory on February 10 is assured,” he said.
The deputy minister said reforms were introduced to the LG electoral system, despite protests by other political parties and this had resulted in the entire country enjoying its benefits.
"There are no reports of violence, no wasteful expenditure, no posters and cutouts, no polythene no intra-party or inter-party rivalry during the election campaigns. This is the best outcome of the new electoral system and the UNP must get the credit," he said.
Responding to the challenge thrown by MP Udaya Gammanpila, the deputy minister said it was on page 149 that the PRECIFAC report recommends that former president Mahinda Rajapaksa be stripped of his civic rights if found guilty of defrauding the ITN of Rs.300 million," the deputy minister said. “The PRECIFAC report clearly recommends that if convicted, Mahinda Rajapaksa must be barred from contesting for any political office and of holding any political or public office. The report also recommends that politicians found guilty of embezzlement of public funds must also be stripped of their civic rights for life.”
The deputy minister said those harsh recommendations can also be applied to all members of the Rajapaksa family -- Gotabaya, Basil, Namal, Yoshitha and other SLPP members who have been brought before the law for multiple of crimes such as Gammanpila, Mahinda Yapa, Aluthgamage, Johnston and several others.
Responding to a journalist, he said the UNP working committee would meet shortly to decide on MP Ravi Karunanayaka who refused to resign in line with a request of the party. Pic by Pradeep Dilrukshana. (Sandun A Jayasekera)