By Sandun A Jayasekera
The curtain will drop at 12.00 midnight today on the hectic and closely fought 44-day propaganda campaign for Saturday‘s presidential election to elect the 7th executive president of Sri Lanka.
The Election Commission (EC) in its gazette notice announced that the presidential election will be held on November 16, 2019 while nominations were accepted on October 7 from 35 candidates representing 19 political parties, 13 independent groups and three other parties.
Nearly 15,992,096 voters are eligible to vote at 12,845 polling booths countrywide while 659,030 of them were eligible for postal voting from October 31 to November 5.
In addition to three front line candidates in the fray -- deputy UNP leader Sajith Premadasa, former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa from the SLPP and JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, former Army Commander General (retired) Mahesh Senanayaka from the National Peoples Party (NPP) and Battaramulle Seelarathana Thera from the Janasetha Peramuna appear to be making an impact during the propaganda campaign.
The other candidates are: Ajantha Wijesinghe from the Socialist Party of Sri Lanka, Saman Prasanna Perera from the Ape Janabala Pakshaya, Ariyawansa Dissanayaka from the Democratic United National Front, Siritunga Jayasuriya from the United Socialist Party, B.G. Nandimithra from the New Samasamaja Party, Wajirapani Wijesiriwardana from the Socialist Equality Party, Sarath Manamendra from the Nawa Sihala Urumaya, Rohan Pallewatta from the National Development Front, A.S.P. Liyanage from the Sri Lanka Labour Party, Duminda Nagamuwa from the Frontline Socialist Party, Aruna De Soyza from the Democratic National Campaign, Ajantha De Soyza from the Ruhunu Janatha Party, Priyantha Edirisinghe from the Okkoma Wasiyo Okkoma Rajawaru Organization, Namal Rajapaksa from the Jathika Samagi Peramuna and Subramaniam Gunaratnam from the Ape Jathika Peramuna. The independent candidates are: Jayantha Ketagoda, Siripala Amarasinghe, Aparakke Punnananda Thera, Milroy Fernando, Samansiri Herath, Vijithakumara Keerthiratne, Chaminda Anuruddha, Samaraweera Weerawanni, Ashoka Wadigamangawa, Idrus Mohamed, Piyasiri Wijenayaka, Rajiva Wijesinghe, M.K.Sivajilingam, M.L.A.M. Hisbulla and Hassa Mohamed Alavi.
Nearly 15,992,096 voters are eligible to vote at 12,845 polling booths countrywide while 659,030 of them were eligible for postal voting