• Saturday, June 15, 2024

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Snap general election to follow October presidential elections in Sri Lanka

After 17 July, the Commission will have the authority to initiate preparations for the presidential elections, aiming for a polling day between 17 September and 16 October. (Photo credit: Getty images)

By: Vibhuti Pathak

A snap general election will be held immediately following the presidential elections, which are set to conclude in October this year.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has reportedly dismissed the idea of declaring a snap general election before or during the presidential poll. He has informed Cabinet ministers that a parliamentary election will occur after the presidential elections.

Politically, it makes sense to declare a snap election, regardless of who wins the presidential elections in October, rather than waiting until the scheduled time for such an election in mid-next year.

Any victorious presidential candidate is likely to prefer a new Parliament with a majority supporting their party or alliance. In Sri Lankan political culture, it is common for the party that wins the presidential election to also triumph in the subsequent general elections.

The last general election was held in August 2020. The Election Commission is legally obligated to conduct any election declared according to the Constitution. There are also provisions allowing for the simultaneous conduct of general and presidential elections.

After 17 July, the Commission will have the authority to initiate preparations for the presidential elections, aiming for a polling day between 17 September and 16 October.

In a notice signed by its chairman, R.M.A.L. Ratnayake, the Election Commission announced its intention to call for nominations to hold the presidential election within the specified timeframe, by constitutional provisions.

The Commission is currently organising the logistical arrangements necessary for conducting the elections.

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