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No presidential candidate has secured a 50% vote base as of date

19 April 2024 05:20 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Ranil has, as of date, not been able to secure a comfortable 50 percent vote base and will likely form an alliance with other MPs or political parties in order to aim for a win
  •  With some of Sajith’s key members already in talks with Ranil, he will have to keep his party intact to secure the 50 percent vote base
  • Namal said that the SLPP will field its own candidate and will have the pohotuwa symbol in the ballot paper 
  • Despite NPPs vigorous campaign, whether AKD has secured a 50 pct vote base is questionable

 By JAMILA HUSAIN  


With the Presidential Election scheduled to be held in the first week of October, political parties have begun vigorous campaigns in electorates as well as closed door discussions with parliamentarians in a bid to secure a basic 50 percent vote base which will win them the presidency.  
As reported earlier, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will present himself as a national candidate who will contest from a brand new symbol and has invited all political parties to support him.  
Political sources close to Wickremesinghe said that the President is unlikely to secure a win if he contests under the elephant symbol and has invited parliamentarians even from the opposition to back his candidacy in order to aim for a 50 percent vote base. As of now, some key MPs from the SLPP have already pledged their support to Wickremesinghe while discussions are also ongoing with some key SJB MPs who are likely to declare their support to Wickremesinghe as soon as a Presidential election is announced.   
But with all these discussions and negotiations presently ongoing, Wickremesinghe himself has, as of date, not been able to secure a comfortable 50 percent vote base and will likely form an alliance with other parliamentarians or even political parties in order to aim for a win.  
The SLPP in the meantime who is facing a split - with some of its key members supporting Wickremesinghe and another lot wanting to field its own candidate - will definitely field a candidate under Basil Rajapaksa’s guidance. When contacted for a confirmation, National Organizer of the SLPP, Namal Rajapaksa said that the party will field its own candidate and will have the pohotuwa symbol in the ballot paper. However, who the party will field has not been decided yet and Namal said several names were being considered including Wickremesinghe.   
However Wickremesinghe has made it very clear that he will not contest under a pohotuwa symbol which will not make him a suitable candidate to represent the SLPP. Even if the SLPP fields its own candidate, as of date, none of its senior party members enjoy a 50 percent vote base and will have to campaign vigorously in hope of winning the presidency.  
Sajith Premadasa who will contest on behalf of the main opposition SJB is also in troubled waters. With some of his key members already in talks with Wickremesinghe, which will then split his votes if these members cross over, will have to keep his party intact to secure the 50 percent vote base. In 2019, Premadasa secured a 40 percent win, but with trouble in his own party, as of date, he himself does not enjoy a 50 percent vote base.  
The NPP’s Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who started his election campaigning as early as last year, taking advantage of the NPP hype spreading across the country, is still attempting to secure the 50 percent vote base. His party has begun a vigorous campaign in all districts across the country in order to raise the support and numbers but to date, whether the party has achieved a 50 percent vote base is questionable.   
According to political analysts on ground, a large percentage of the voters remain undecided on which candidate they will support.  
Political sources said that after Vesak, in May, a formal announcement declaring the Presidential election is likely to be announced while some other key announcements are also likely to be made.   


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