Newspaper headlines carrying the news about upcoming election (Photo: Ishara S.kodikara/AFP/Getty Images)
Sri Lanka election likely to be a triangular battle
(NIDAHASA News) President Maithripala Sirisena finally dissolved the parliament on Friday (26), ending the weeks-long political uncertainty. Parliamentary election is to be held on 17 August, officials said.
Maithripala Sirisena, elected the president on 8th January had earlier promised to dissolve parliament on 23rd April after 100-day reformation program. However Sirisana's new government was facing the challenge of carrying out constitutional reformations in a parliament where former presidents' supporters dominate. Sirisena secured the leadership of United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA), but it seems that Rajapaksa loyalists in the party do not totally comply with their new leadership.
Rajapaksa loyalists say that former president is going to contest to the election, but 69-yaear-old ex president is yet to confirm his candidacy. Rajapaksa asked his supporters to "wait till Tuesday" for his final decision.
Sirisena has already resisted calls to allow his presidential-rival to contest for premiership.
Rajapaksa family and many of his close allies are facing massive corruption charges since the defeat in presidential election. Some of small parties like Wimal Weeerawansa's National Freedom Front (JNP) are unlikely to secure nominations from Sirisena's UPFA and hoping to contest under a new Rajapaksa alliance.
If Rajapaksa contests from a new alliance, it would effectively divide UPFA voter base, which would give and edge to prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) in the election.