Sirisena calls for elections to be held with health guidelines

Thursday, 21 May 2020 01:42 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Says new Parliament vital to address COVID-19 impact and support President to implement his policies 
  • Claims he received inadequate support from Parliament when President 
  • Pledges to ensure SLNPS victory at polls 

By Nuwan Senarathna

Former President Maithripala Sirisena has called for the General Elections to be held without further delay under guidelines issued by health authorities. 

Speaking to media at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Head Office on Tuesday, the former President said the country needed a new Parliament to address challenges arise from the COVID-19 outbreak. He pointed out that the country needed a new Parliament to address economic challenges and support the policies of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.  

“The SLFP believes a new Parliament is vital to address the prevailing situation. Parliamentary support is vital for the President to fully implement his policies. Therefore a new Parliament that supports the President will be important to get the economy back on track,” he said.

According to Sirisena, further delay of the election will create more economic challenges and only through the combination of the Executive and the Legislature will Sri Lanka be able to address those challenges. 

“When I was the President I did not have support from the Parliament and it was very challenging for me to make decisions and implement them. The public experienced the results of that stalemate,” he added.

Sirisena, who is now the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Nidahas Podujana Sandanaya (SLNPS) coalition, reiterated that his party would support President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and form a strong government. He noted the SLFP would play a key role in ensuring the victory of the SLNPS.

He also pointed out that the country needed to focus to improving local production and expanding the economy to recover from the COVID-19 impact.

Speaking to media, SLFP General Secretary former MP Dayasiri Jayasekara charged the Opposition was attempting to gain political advantage out of COVID-19 outbreak. He noted the decision to delay polls was taken by the Election Commission (EC) and the commission should fix a date for the election.