Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara says his party will lead the Opposition’s fight to demand that local Government polls be held without any further delay.
“All the Opposition parties came together for a discussion this week where it was decided that we would take all possible measures to ensure the elections are held on the scheduled date. It was decided that necessary steps would be taken to protect the right to vote, inside and outside the Parliament, in the courts and even internationally,” he said.
According to Madduma Bandara, the SJB as the main party in the Opposition will lead this movement and bring all parties involved to a common platform. The SJB General Secretary made these comments during a press conference held at the Opposition leader’s office in Colombo yesterday. “President Ranil Wickremesinghe together with the group that destroyed this country and its economy are attempting to postpone the local Government elections which is a democratic right of this country. These elections have already been delayed by a year.
“The Election Commission of Sri Lanka has the power to hold the elections from 20 September onwards. While the situation remains thus, President Ranil Wickremesinghe is claiming the polls will only be held after the number of members is dropped to 4000,” he noted. “The President is attempting to destroy democracy,” he accused.
According to Madduma Bandara, the claim that elections will be held after the number of members is halved is nothing but a delay tactic on the part of President Ranil Wickremesinghe. “When appointed as President, Wickremesinghe made a promise to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna that he would not hold elections any time soon. The people have rejected the Government and its MPs. That is why they are attempting to delay the polls,” he said. However, he noted that the people have responded in kind to political leaders who attempted to take away their right to vote.
“These actions are undemocratic. We will force the Government to understand this and hold the elections. We call on President Ranil Wickremesinghe to protect the democratic rights of the people,” Madduma Bandara said.