Home / FT View Editorial/ Polls parlay

Polls parlay


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 19 September 2019 00:41


The announcement of Presidential Elections will be the signal political parties have been waiting for to take their campaigns to the next level. This natural upping the ante will be played out across many segments of society, but it will also be a chance for the public to take a final look at their candidate, and make the best choice for the country and the future. 

Undoubtedly the United National Party (UNP) will now have to put its house in order and decide on their candidate. There is no time left for vacillating. The Working Committee will have to be summoned, and its decision will have to be announced, so that the party rank and file can fall into place and focus on the campaign. But its business in Government is not done. 

It is imperative that the UNP’s parliamentarians continue focus on the affairs of the State, and not lose their heads over campaigning alone. Hopefully, the looming Presidential Elections will provide the much needed push for the Government to fast-track pending matters, especially critical legislation before Parliament, and ensure that their final months in office are not wasted. A vast amount of work, including passing new procurement guidelines and the new Monetary Law Act, will still need to be presented and passed by Parliament. These are important to ensure that governance is improved, and at least some part of the Government’s anti-corruption mandate is honoured. 

For the public, especially the private sector, there is now light at the end of the tunnel. The political tension that has pockmarked the business environment could well see a decline after the Presidential Elections, and that will provide welcome respite from a prolonged state of uncertainty. This is also good news for the economy, which is expected to end this year with 3.1% growth: decent when considering the challenges that have been placed before it, but not strong enough to meet the aspirations of the people. 

It is also a time to consider both the policies and the people that will come with the respective presidential candidates. Sri Lanka has seen an interesting transition where the personalities are coming to the forefront over and above the parties that they represent. This is clearly seen in both the presidential candidates that have been announced so far. Both Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa and National People’s Power (NPP) presidential hopeful Anura Kumara Dissanayake have constructed the campaigns around their personal track records, rather than the achievements of the parties they represent. This is typical of all Presidential Elections but for any president to implement his policies, there have to be proper appointments and this also needs attention in the long term.

Another aspect that the public should be keeping an eye on is how ethically the respective candidates conduct their campaigns. Sri Lanka has a long history of abuse of State resources during campaigning, some of which was seen in 2014, and therefore it is essential that elections laws are respected to ensure that there is a level playing field for all contenders. Sri Lankans have a right to be proud of their democracy, and it is now time to use the franchise sensibly and make the best choice possible.     


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Ministry of Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET): A nation rich in human capital

Friday, 18 October 2019

nIncrease TVET certificate holders from 79,200 to 144,000, which will result in 40% of the 360,000 students per annum. nTransform unskilled labour contribution of the labour force into skilled labour contribution of the labour force by reducing the


Politics of history

Friday, 18 October 2019

An orator addressing a big political meeting in the North Central Province invites a journey to an atavistic glory, invoking names of several kings as well as notional imagery from the animal world. “Coming from these historical lands you are proud


The greenhouse and house destruction

Friday, 18 October 2019

The Buddha the Enlightened One on attaining enlightenment over 2,600 at Bodh Gaya uttered this paean of joy where he said, “For so many lives in the Sansara I have been looking for you the house builder, I have seen you and you will never make a ho


Deception, distortion, demonisation: Integral parts of SL democracy today

Friday, 18 October 2019

Elections are here, time for pacts, pledges and promises – the time-tested Sri Lankan way of savouring democracy. The sooner you get them negotiated and sealed the better. Formation of alliances before a Presidential Election is normal in Sri Lank


Columnists More