SLFP denies delaying polls

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By 2017-11-23

By Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake

General Secretary of the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA), Minister Mahinda Amaraweera refuted allegations that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and its leadership are attempting to delay the Local Government Elections. The Minister said that the SLFP is of the view that the Local Government Polls must be held soon.

Speaking at the Committee Stage Debate of Budget 2018 in Parliament yesterday (22), the Minister said that both the SLFP and the UPFA had made submissions in Court requesting that the petition be dismissed and for the elections to be held as soon as possible.

Commenting on the SLFP links to the petitioners, the Minister said, "the individuals who petition on a matter like this may have various political links. Despite their political views, they have the right to go before the Court. The SLFP is of the view that this Court case must be expedited and concluded soon. We give our full support to it and this is also the stance of the President."

"The SLFP desires to hold the Local Government Elections before April," he said, adding that "the SLFP is a Party that upholds democracy and is committed to protecting it."The Minister said that the SLFP strongly supported electoral reforms and was in favour of reintroducing the First-Past-the-Post system sans preferential votes.

"The SLFP was committed to ending the election culture that heavily depends on money, which often leads to clashes within and between the parties. The SLFP from the beginning campaigned hard to hold the upcoming elections under the new electoral system, despite the fact that there was pressure to hold it under the old system," he said. Commenting on the arguments made with regard to alleged wiretapping, the Minister stressed that neither the government nor the President is involved in such acts, adding that telephone tapping does not happen now.

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