Hold General, Presidential polls on same day: CaFFE

Published : 9:10 am  December 7, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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LATE-CITY-DM-1-7By Sandun A JayasekeraThe

only solution to the ongoing constitutional and political crisis was to conduct a Presidential and General election simultaneously on a single day as early as possible, the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) said.

 CaFFE Executive Director Keerthi Tennakone told the media yesterday that President Maithripala Sirisena was constitutionally empowered to declare a Presidential poll after the completion of four years in his office on January 8, 2019. The politicians and political parties who continue to shout from roof tops demanding an election as a way out from this impasse can come to an agreement and make a request to President to dissolve Parliament with the consent of a two thirds majority in Parliament in early 2019.  

“If this becomes a reality we can have a new President, new government, new cabinet and a new Parliament with new hopes by next February. But to do that political parties and politicians must give a break to their political expediency, personal agendas and show maturity and statesmanship because this issue is an unprecedented political and Constitutional crisis and victims are none other than the 22 million people, the economy, our cultural and social values,” Mr. Tennekone stressed.  

“If all politicians and political parties truly desire to protect democracy I don’t see why they should oppose this. If they cannot agree to hold a general election before four and half years, President Sirisena can declare a Presidential poll after January 8,” he emphasized.   

It was a setback for the democratic tradition practiced for decades in Sri Lanka to seek the legal redress for the clash between the executive and the legislature. Truth is that this crisis started with the expulsion of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe from the premiership and replacing him with Mahinda Rajapaksa by President Sirisena. Therefore, it is up to President Sirisena to bring this precarious situation to normalcy because he is the creator of it, he added.  
Commenting on the cry to protect democracy from many quarters, Mr. Tennekone said it was peculiar and hilarious to witness every Tom Dick and Harry shouting to safeguard democracy today.  


  • If this becomes a reality we can have a new President, new government, new cabinet

“These so-called politicians, political parties, the civil society, NGOs and other organizations did not raise a murmur for the delay of nearly two years to conduct elections for 6 Provincial Councils and deprivation of free franchise to 15 million voters. The ‘Yahapalana Government with the help of all party leaders deliberately delayed to hold polls to these Provincial Councils through many a ruse. Once they said it was because of the erroneous delimitation report. Then came another delimitation report and it was also rejected compelling the President to appoint a review committee on delimitation in two months. This report has not been released even after four months and conducting of PC polls is in limbo. 

The government, the opposition, party leaders and parliament must take the full responsibility for the violation of rights to vote in the six PCs. These six PCs are not under governor’s rule and managed by officials with no people’s representation which means all of them are under oligarchial rule,” Mr. Tennekone lamented.  

Mr. Tennekone expressed hopes that the Supreme Court would no doubt give a ruling today or on Monday that would protect and strengthen democracy, Parliamentary tradition, uphold the Constitution and more than anything else safeguard the interests and aspirations of the nation and the country giving a permenant solution to the current impasse.  



If all politicians and political parties truly desire to protect democracy I don’t see why they should oppose this