ECONOMYNEXT – The newly announced alliance between the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and the United National Party (UNP) is no threat to the main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya, according to an SJB spokesman.
SJB national list MP Tissa Attanayake told reporters on Monday January 10 that the SLPP and the UNP have joined forces because neither party enjoys enough support to contest alone.
“The UNP-SLPP alliance is in no way a challenge to the SJB,” said Attanayake.
The MP said the SJB expects to contest the polls together with all parties and organisations affiliated with the party.
The nationalist SLPP and its former rival the centre-right UNP, the party headed by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, will join forces to contest the local government elections that may or may not take place in March this year.
UNP general secretary Palitha Range Bandara told reporters following a discussion between the president and SLPP representatives on Monday that the two parties will contest the election together under the SLPP’s Pohottuwa (lotus bud) symbol for some of the local bodies, the UNP’s elephant symbol for some and a common symbol for the others.
Sri Lanka’s ruling SLPP, president’s UNP team up for local govt elections
However, it is unclear whether the local government elections will take place at all. Despite the election commission announcing January 18 to 21 as dates for accepting nominations for the local polls, there is a cloud of uncertainty over the widely anticipated election. Opposition parties continue to accuse the government of resorting to various underhand tactics to delay the election while the election commission itself is reportedly divided on whether it should go ahead with the polls.
A number of government ministers have said the cash-strapped country cannot afford to hold elections at present, while some analysts warn that an election at this juncture could derail or at least slow down Sri Lanka’s recovery process. President Wickremesinghe, though he has said he will not participate in the UNP’s election campaign, is also reportedly decidedly not in favour of an election at present, choosing instead to prioritise his mandate to bring Sri Lanka out of its worst currency crisis in decades. (Colombo/Jan10/2023)
RANIL RAJAPAKASHA and the Bloody RAJAPAKSHAS know their FATE if they do have an ELECTION, RANIL should BE MAN enough to face the challenge.