Asia - Pacific

Sri Lanka to hold presidential election on Nov. 16

Just 2 parties announce candidates so far

Dilrukshi Handunnetti   | 18.09.2019
Sri Lanka to hold presidential election on Nov. 16

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka will go to the polls on Nov. 16 to elect the next president of the Indian Ocean island, according to a source from the presidency on Wednesday.  

However, the special gazette notification announcing the date is scheduled to be issued Wednesday night.

The presidential secretariat source told Anadolu Agency on the condition of anonymity that the National Election Commission will start accepting nominations from Oct. 7.

Political parties have been preparing for the forthcoming polls for weeks but just two leading political parties have announced their hopefuls so far.

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (People's Front) party has announced that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the former defense secretary and younger brother of the nation’s former president will contend for the post.

The Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna will put forth its leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake for the top position of the country.

The ruling United National Party (UNP) has seen one of the worst power struggles with party leader and prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe leading one camp while a reformist group led by the minister of housing and cultural affairs, Sajith Premadasa, on the other side.

Top party sources told Anadolu Agency the UNP is likely to field incumbent speaker and elder statesmen Karu Jayasuriya as its candidate.

The South Asian nation had witnessed political turmoil in recent months, showing deep cracks along ethno-religious lines, that spiked following the Easter Sunday attack on Catholic churches that claimed over 250 lives.

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