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Sri Lanka Parliamentary General Election to be held on Aug 5

Chief Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya announcing the postponement of the elections

ECONOMYNEXT – The Elections Commission has decided that the Parliamentary General Election will be held on August 5, Chief Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya announced today.

The election, initially scheduled for April 25 was postponed for June 20 because of the Coronavirus epidemic.

It has now been further delayed because of the precautions needed to be taken to avoid the spread of the contagion.

The poll will be conducted under strict Health Department regulations.

In a brief statement, Deshapriya said that “various politicians” had been alleging that the Commission was delaying the election.

He said, “the purpose of the Commission is to hold elections and we have been doing our best to hold the poll.”

Deshapriya said that normally the Elections staff is able to conduct a poll within 35 days of the announcement of a poll.

However because of the reduced work hours due to the COVID 19 precautions, it takes more than sixty days for the department to get the machinery into action, he said.

Last week he said that he needs to take precautions as the nation must not say that the second wave of COVID 19 infections or community transmission began because of the election.

The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna has been keen to go for a quick poll to take the momentum generated by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s huge win in November’s Presidential poll to garner a two-third’s majority in Parliament.

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The COVID 19 situation has stymied that and the poll is being held nearly six months afterwards.

(Colombo, June 10, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana