Elections must be held - President | Daily News


Elections must be held - President

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told the Task Force to combat the COVID-19 virus at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday that nominations must be received and elections should be held if the country was to forge ahead to manage and contain the COVID-19 scare. “The government which we took over from had not made a surplus, there had been many pending arrears of which this caretaker government looked into and resolved. Even to contain and combat the COVID-19 scare, the government needs funds and this cannot be elicited from parliament alone.”

“The Opposition didn’t not give us an opportunity to pass the budget, so we dissolved Parliament and I was empowered to make certain decisions, including allocation of funds,” he said. “If we postpone the elections, we will have to take this back to Parliament and it will not go forward.”

The President speaking to officials in the presence of media personnel said the Elections Commission Chairman was empowered to take a decision if concerns over the virus exacerbate. “However we will face a financial crisis again if I am to take this to Parliament again.”

The President noted that he had come across many social media campaigns calling for the postponement of the elections as well as the imposition of a lockdown countrywide. “People still need to go ahead with their lives, there are people who are on daily wage, the economy needs to function, factories need to operate. We cannot afford to come to standstill. We need to instead measures that will prevent the spread of this virus.”

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