UNP leader predicts "new govt." after referendum
[TamilNet, Monday, 06 August 2001, 14:57 GMT]
The leader of the United National Party, Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, Sunday night said that all opposition political parties would form a new government soon after the referendum. He was speaking at an anti-referendum meeting held at Ambalantota, a town in the deep south of the country, amidst speculation that the main opposition party and the ruling People's Alliance are moving slowly toward forming a national government.
"A victory for the Government in the referendum will be a dead blow to democracy in the country," Mr. Wickremasinghe said, even as observers speculate that the cancellation of the August 21 referendum is imminent.
Mr.Vasudeva Nanayakkara, the veteran trade union leader and former Parliamentarian, said: "all should rally round under one banner irrespective of political and other petty differences to safeguard democracy."
In the meantime, a spokesman for the Elections Secretariat said Monday that all preparations have been made for the Referendum scheduled this month. Polling cards are to be handed to the post offices Tuesday for mailing. They will be distributed a day after tomorrow. The distribution of polling cards will take place even on Sunday.
Postal voting is to take place on Thursday and Friday at the respective government offices. Nine thousand and nine hundred (9,900) polling stations will be established throughout the country.
Meanwhile, on Monday, representatives of political parties met the Elections Commissioner, Mr.Dayananda Dissanayake, and discussed conducting the referendum in a free and fair manner.