Colombo, Feb 22 (DailyMirror) – Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa who has strengthened his power in the present government since taking over his new portfolio has called for local government elections to be held first so that the SLPP could strengthen itself at grassroot level, but his request had been shot down by other senior ministers who said the government is not ready for an election amidst burning issues.
The Daily Mirror learns that amidst talks that a parliamentary election may be held at the end of this year or next year, Basil had said that it was the local government elections that should be held first as this would strengthen the SLPP’S base.
However senior SLPP ministers who have acknowledged that the country is in turmoil with the forex crisis, high cost of living and the fuel issue say the country is not ready to face any election and this might end by the SLPP weakening itself further.
In fact even the opposition parties including a majority in the SJB have voiced concerns within the parties that they were not ready for an election anytime soon due to uncertainties and splits within political parties, the Daily Mirror learns.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa attending the recently held SLPP convention had challenged the opposition to an election to which some
SJB members had vaguely accepted, but senior political sources in the government and opposition said these were mere words and political threats as neither parties were ready for an election anytime soon with some ruling out any election to be held this year.
“If at all the local government elections maybe held next year as this year it seems impossible. The people also need to be ready to vote,” senior political sources said.
In fact the struggles of the parties are widening with new alliances forming from next month within the opposition and government signaling that all major political parties including SLPP, SLFP and SJB were struggling to remain intact.