President diverts attention by talking about general election not due till 2020 – GL
Posted on August 3rd, 2017

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday emphasized that the outfit hadn’t called for an early general election and was keen to contest long overdue local government polls.

The government should test its popularity at local government polls without trying to divert attention of the electorate. The JO was responding to President Sirisena declaration that those who had been in public protest campaign wouldn’t get parliamentary polls till 2020.

Top JO spokesman former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday told The Island that the JO was surprised by President Sirisena’s statement made at the 38th anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).

“We never asked for a general election. We have been campaigning for local government polls and an assurance from the National Election Commission in respect of scheduled Provincial Council polls in Sabaragamuwa, North Central and Eastern Provinces,” the former law professor said.

Prof. Peiris alleged that the ruling coalition had caused turmoil in the country with all sectors in crisis. Obviously, the government feared to face the people at local government or provincial council polls, Prof. Peiris said, urging the NEC to intervene.

The failure on the part of the NEC to take up this issue with the government had undermined democracy and eroded public faith in the electoral system.

Prof. Peiris said President Sirisena shouldn’t try to pull the wool over the eyes of the people by talking about parliamentary polls. The JO heavyweight said that with the Central Bank bond scams rocking the government, the shaky administration wouldn’t last the full period.

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