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Sri Lanka to hold presidential polls between Sept 17 and Oct 16

The last presidential election in Sri Lanka, which saw Gotabaya Rajapaksa emerge victorious, happened on November 19, 2019.

Representational image from Getty

By: Vivek Mishra

Sri Lanka’s election commission has officially declared that the presidential election will take place between September 17 and October 16 this year.

“In terms of the powers vested in the elections commission the presidential election will be held at a date between 17 September and 16 October,” said election commission chairman R M A L Ratnayake in a statement on Thursday.

The last presidential election, which saw Gotabaya Rajapaksa emerge victorious, happened on November 19, 2019.

Interestingly, the announcement coincides with the second anniversary of widespread public protests against the economic policies and governance of the previous administration under Rajapaksa.

In May 2022, amidst mounting anti-government demonstrations, Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned from his post, leading to the appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister.

Two months later, Wickremesinghe assumed the presidency, completing the term until the end of 2024.

It is widely anticipated that President Wickremesinghe, aged 75, will seek reelection, as confirmed by his senior advisor Ashu Marasinghe.

Wickremesinghe’s candidacy is expected to represent a coalition of parties, reflecting his broad political support.

With a political career spanning decades, Wickremesinghe has been at the helm of the United National Party (UNP) since 1994 and has served as prime minister on five occasions, making him a formidable contender in the upcoming election.

As preparations for the election gain momentum, speculation abounds regarding potential challengers. Among them, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, the incumbent minister of justice, and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) candidate, endorsed by Maithripala Sirisena, aged 65, are emerging as notable figures in the political arena.

(PTI)

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