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Sri Lankan Parliamentary Elections postponed to August 5

The Sri Lankan parliamentary elections were initially supposed to be held on April 25 but it had to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Jun 11, 2020 14:37 IST
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The Sri Lankan Parliamentary elections have been scheduled for August 5, 2020. The date of the elections has been postponed twice previously due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The Sri Lankan parliamentary elections were initially supposed to be held on April 25 but it had to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The election commission postponed to the elections to June 20. However, with the ongoing situation of the pandemic, the commission decided to postpone the date yet again, deeming it not suitable. 

Key Highlights 

The Sri Lankan Election Commission assured that the new election date has been decided keeping in view the health guidelines issued by the health department. 

The Commission had held a mock poll earlier this week at a polling station to test the COVID health guidelines and preparedness. 

The Election Commission chairman, Mahinda Deshapriya said that there will be five more of such mock polls soon to determine the likely time needed to cast each vote while sticking to the health guidelines. 

The health guidelines also stipulate conditions for campaigning including to avoid public gathering of more than 500 people and using propaganda materials and media as the main medium for the campaign.

Some opposition parties and civil society groups had approached the Sri Lankan Supreme court to delay the election and revive the old parliament until COVID threat is eliminated but their petitions were rejected.

This time, around 16 million people are eligible to vote to elect 225-member Sri Lankan Parliament for a 5-year term.

Background

Sri Lanka’s parliament was dissolved on March 2, 2020, six months before its actual term-end as the current government under Prime Minister  Mahinda Rajapaksa had sought a majority in the house to implement its policies. 

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