Dulles rules out Presidential or General elections in 2014

By Franklin R. Satyapalan

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government is expected to take up for discussion the issue of calling for Presidential or Parliamentary elections in 2014, at the Samasta Lanka Karaka Sabha meeting of the party scheduled for Wednesday (18) at Temple Trees.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa will preside at this meeting where 1,000 delegates including members of the Central Committee (CC), ministers, parliamentarians, electoral organizers, chief ministers and chairmen of local bodies are due to participate.

Speculation is rife that the government is mulling whether the time is opportune to conduct the Presidential elections early or dissolve the Western Provincial Council, whose term of office is scheduled to expire in April 2014.

SLFP Treasurer, Minister Dulles Alahapperuma dismissed claims of moves to hold a Presidential or General election in 2014. He said that that provincial elections to the Western, Southern and Uva provinces were scheduled for 2014.

Meanwhile, following the repeated defeat of the 2014 budget in the UPFA-administered local bodies in Mirigama and Mawanella and the Peliyagoda Urban Council, SLFP General Secretary, Minister Maithripala Sirisena has written to all Ministers, parliamentarians and party organizers to pay special attention to avert such a crisis situation where UPFA members were voting against the budget inconveniencing the government.

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