4160 candidates contest parliamentary elections
[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 October 2001, 10:08 GMT]
4610 candidates are contesting the forthcoming general elections scheduled to be held on 5 December to elect Sri Lanka's 12th parliament. Of them 3196 candidates have been fielded by registered political parties in the twenty-two electoral districts in the country. The rest are candidates nominated by independent groups, the Election Secretariat said Sunday.
Twenty out of 273 nomination lists submitted by registered political parties in eleven electoral districts were rejected by the Returning Officers of the respective districts. Six out of 133 nomination lists filed by independent groups in five electoral districts were rejected, election secretariat sources said.
The highest number of political parties (17) are contesting in the Colombo electoral district. Likewise, the highest number of independent groups (17) are contesting in the Digamadulla (Ampara) electoral district.
The Prime Minister Mr.Ratnasiri Wickremanayake is contesting in his home electorate Horana.
The Leader of the main opposition United National Party Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe is contesting in the Colombo electoral district. However, the Chief candidate of the UNP in Colombo electoral district is a former Speaker and a veteran parliamentarian Mr.M.H.Mohammed.
Mr.Wimal Weerawansa, propaganda secretary of the Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is contesting in the Colombo district.
The Secretary General of the ruling People's Alliance and minister Mr.D.M.Jayaretna is not contesting the Kandy electoral district. He is to be nominated to the parliament through the national list of the PA.
General Anuruddha Ratwatte, Minister and National Organizer of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) is leading the ruling party in Kandy electoral district.
In the meantime, the People's Alliance has decided to launch its election campaign officially on 1 November at Anuradhapura, a historic Buddhist city in the north central province, party sources said.