Daily Mirror - Print Edition

Majority MPs call for General Election first

10 May 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

  • MPs perturbed with EC announcement on presidential race
  • Presidential election would be held  between September 17 and October 16

By Sheain Fernandopulle   

In the wake of the Election Commission officially announcing that the Presidential election will be held between September 17 and October 16, a faction of both government and opposition MPs have expressed concerns as they prefer a parliamentary election first, Daily Mirror learns.   

This follows the remarks by the founder of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Basil Rajapaksa who reiterated that his party maintains its stance that the general election should take place before the presidential election.   
In addition to government MPs, a significant number of opposition MPs, the majority of whom are from the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), prefer a general election, citing the potential to attract a broader voter base.   

Against this backdrop, President Ranil Wickremesinghe is reported to have attempted to convince the government parliamentary group that the Presidential election must take place this year in accordance with the Constitution.    According to the Election Commission, the Presidential election should be held this year while the parliamentary election is slated for 2025. However, the President, as the Head of the State, is vested with the authority to dissolve Parliament and call for a snap general election.  

Nonetheless, informed sources suggest that it is highly improbable for the President to dissolve parliament, paving the way for a parliamentary election ahead of the Presidential election.  

Meanwhile, speaking to Daily Mirror, Election Commission chief R.M.A.L. Ratnayake stated that the presidential election will be declared between the end of July and the early part of August.  

Furthermore, the nominations will be called within the specified timeframe in terms of the provisions of the Constitution of Sri Lanka and the Presidential Elections Act No. l5 of 1981.