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Sri Lanka’s governing party will not postpone elections despite the emergence of new COVID clusters

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s ruling party is pooh-poohing suggestions that the Parliamentary General elections slated for August 5 be postponed because of a discovery of multiple COVID 19 clusters in the past few days.

The Chairman of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) G.L. Peiris said that some are trying to postpone the elections using COVID-19 pandemic as bait as they clearly know that they can’t win the elections.

Peiris said that is very simple logic used by them as they are 100% sure that they will get defeated if the election is held.

“So how to prevent the defeat? By not holding the elections,” he added.

The SLPP won last November’s presidential elections by a wide margin and is expected to win a majority of seats in the Parliament which will be elected in next months’ poll.

Peiris said based on that logic plans were made not only today but for the past 3 and half years as the local government election was postponed for 2 years and when they arrive at a point where they cannot postpone it further they held it unwillingly while the provincial council elections were never held.

“They are scared of elections and the people, we will not get pushed to that point but protecting the people and their health is our first concern,” he said.

Opposition parties have expressed concern that the spread of COVID 19 will be accelerated by electioneering and also that voters would be reluctant to come to polling stations out of fear.

“It will not be free and fair,” former Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa has said.

Peries said when compared to other countries there is no practical ability to prevent every danger, but the situation today is being controlled and to control it there is a clear plan, “We should not think about it lightly, we should take all the measures required but there is no need to have unnecessary fear either,” he added.

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He said that the government has total confidence that they will be able to control the current situation as they act based on the recommendations given by the people who have knowledge in the subject. (Colombo/July13/2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe