ECOMOMYNEXT – Sajith Premadasa is saying that the Director-General of Health Services must issue a public guarantee that it will be safe for the country to carry out an election campaign for his alliance to agree to participate in an election now planned for June 20th.
Premadasa, leader of the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) laid down the condition after meeting with the members of the National Election Commission (NEC) in Rajagiriya today April 21.
“This certification of the public health situation must come from the DGHS, and as soon as it is made available to the public we are willing to begin the election campaign even tomorrow,” Premadasa told reporters outside the office of the Election Commission.
He said that his alliance, which encompasses much of the United National Party’s former members of Parliament as its erstwhile allies, is grateful that the NEC has got the date pushed for three weeks past the date the government had desired it to be held.
The government wants the poll to be conducted on Mar 28th to facilitate a sitting of Parliament on June 2. However the NEC has pushed it further down the road to June 20 after meeting with Health Officials yesterday.
“This has given us a space to try and ensure a period where we can look after the health of the public which is of paramount importance to us,” the former Leader of the Opposition and Presidential candidate said.
Premadasa repeated his statement from yesterday that the alliance does not want to take “people to their deaths because of the elections.”
He went on to say that the campaign needs a five to seven week period and his party wants a guarantee that this period would be safe for an election campaign to be held without endangering the public at large. (Colombo, 21 April 2020)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana