By Kelum Bandara
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said yesterday the ruling party would not take lightly the challenge posed by the main opposition United National Party (UNP) to hold a national election next year.
He was responding to speculation that a snap presidential election would be held early next year.
The minister said the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), was prepared for a national election at any time, but refused to say when this election would be held.
“It has to be decided by the President and the Elections Commissioner. But, we, as a party, have positioned ourselves to face an election. We are carrying out organisational activities with such an election in mind. The UNP leadership has also challenged us to hold a national election. We won’t take that challenge lightly,” he said.
The minister said the Government had not only rescued the country from the scourge of terrorism but had also raised the living standards of the people.
“Earlier, people were satisfied when access roads were gravelled. Today, they expect us not only to carpet such roads but also to demarcate the lanes. People now have higher expectations because their living standards have risen. We have to face those challenges by meeting the needs of the people,” he said.
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