Rajapaksa calls presidential polls

The Sri Lankan President is seeking election for a record third term.

Updated - November 16, 2021 05:54 pm IST

Published - November 20, 2014 04:47 pm IST - Colombo

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday gave an official confirmation on holding presidential elections, expected early January.

“President signs proclamation declaring his intention to hold a Presidential Election seeking another term,” a statement from his office said.

After securing a second term in 2010 Mr. Rajapaksa rewrote the Sri Lankan Constitution, removing the two-term limit on the presidency, thus enabling him to run for an unprecedented third term in office. As per the Sri Lankan Constitution, the incumbent can call fresh polls after completing four years — the full terms is six years — in office. Mr. Rajapaksa, who recently turned 69, completed four years of his second term on November 19, and declared elections two years ahead of schedule.

Mr. Rajapaksa’s ruling coalition had suffered a considerable setback in September in the provincial elections in the Sinhala-majority Uva Province, winning by only a narrow margin.

Sri Lanka’s opposition parties have been considering fielding a common candidate, but it remains unclear if the United National Party (UNP), the main opposition, will be part of it or go it alone.

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