President asks SLMC to stand with PA

[TamilNet, Saturday, 19 August 2000, 10:33 GMT]
M.H.M.Ashraff, Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), says that his party would on whether to contest the forthcoming general election under the People's Alliance (PA) banner or on the SLMC ticket island wide decide after meeting President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge on Monday over a breakfast discussion. Minister Ashraff made this statement in an interview with State Television"Rupavahini" Saturday morning.

M.H.M.Ashraff, who also hold the post of Sri Lanka's Minister of Port and Shipping, added that his party' decision up-to now is to contest the October 10 the general election island wide independently without aligning to any other political groups. But President Chandrika has appealed to his party to review this decision to avoid a constitutional crisis in the new parliament.

ashraff_m_h_m_3-p.jpgPresident Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge wanted all allied political parties and groups of the ruling PA to contest the forthcoming general election under one symbol to prevent a Prime Minister from a different party being elected to the new parliament.

Minister Ashraff said he has accepted an invitation from President Chandrika in this regard. He would meet her on Monday (21.08.2000) at 9 a.m. at her official residence. A decision on whether or not to form an alliance with the ruling PA to face the general election would be taken after this meeting, he added in the Rupavahini interview.

Meanwhile the Commissioner of Elections Mr.Dayananda Dissanayake said 12.67 million voters registered in 1999 electoral lists are eligible to vote in the forthcoming general election. Accordingly the number of polling booths and counting centers would be increased this time, he said.

41 political parties are presently registered with the Election Secretariat. Several other parties have applied for registration. The Election Secretariat expects that these parties to contest as independent groups due to lack of time for registration.

The Commissioner of Elections is to meet secretaries of all political parties after the acceptance of nominations that concludes on September 4.

 

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