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Sri Lanka’s elections to go ahead despite coronavirus threat

Sri Lanka’s Election Commission said preparations for parliamentary elections that are scheduled next month are continuing, despite rising numbers of COVID-19 coronavirus cases on the island.

Commission member S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole told the Daily Mirror that the election schedule is based on Sri Lanka’s Parliamentary Elections Act and the date was set in motion by a presidential proclamation.

“To postpone the election, only the President can act by revoking his proclamation and issuing a new one,” Hoole said.

Meanwhile, The Island quoted Election Commission sources as saying it was “premature” to consider postponing the elections.

The early dissolution of parliament this month came six months before the parliamentary term was scheduled to end, but will allow the election campaign to feature the first anniversary of the Easter Sunday bombings. 

Current Sri Lankan prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will lead a newly formed coalition between the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP),  which looked set to sweep the polls.