The Elections Commission said yesterday the cost of the upcoming parliamentary elections will cost an estimated Rs.7.5 billion should there be an increase in the number of independent groups in the fray.
Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya told Daily Mirror that currently there were 70 registered political parties of which 64 were active and that at the current figures the estimated cost of holding the general election was estimated to cost between Rs.5 billion and Rs.6 billion but was bound to rise if more candidates register.
EC sources said since candidates only have to pay a fee of Rs.2,000 to register for the polls, several more Independent candidates are expected to contest countrywide.
Colombo District has the highest number of candidates with 22 contestants.
Government sources said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will dissolve Parliament on March 2 with elections to be held on April 25 or 26. (JAMILA HUSAIN)