Sri Lanka gears up for local elections

Accepting election deposits from candidates would begin on January 4 and continue until January 20…reports Asian Lite News

Sri Lanka’s Election Commission has said that applications for postal voting from eligible voters for the 2023 local elections would be accepted on January 5-23.

Chairman of the Election Commission Nimal Punchihewa told reporters that nominations from candidates contesting the local government elections would be accepted on January 18-21, Xinhua news agency reported.

Accepting election deposits from candidates would begin on January 4 and continue until January 20, he said.

Polls will be held in 340 local government bodies and 14,000 polling centers will be established for the voting, according to the election commission chief.

A petition was filed earlier to the Supreme Court by a retired military official seeking an order suspending the elections over Sri Lanka’s economic crisis. The date of the upcoming elections has not yet been announced.

Earlier this week, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe said that as Sri Lanka walks into the New Year with the baggage from 2022, 2023 will be a critical year for the country to turn around its crisis-struck economy, reported Daily Mirror.

According to the Daily Mirror report: “Wickremesinghe in his New Year message acknowledged that the citizens of the country are looking at the year 2023 after having undergone the bleakest of times, immense hardships, as well as the uncertainties and hopelessness of the last year.” Wickremesinghe said: “I understand the great burdens that are placed on all of us and the setbacks that a majority of us have suffered due to the country’s abject economic collapse.”

The year 2022 which kicked off with optimism and hopes of reviving from the issues stemming from the COVID pandemic turned out to be somewhat of a nightmare for the citizens of the country.

The president said that 2022 started with optimism and hopes for reviving from the crisis caused by COVID. The year, however, turned out to be a nightmare for the country’s citizens.

Wickremesinghe said that just as economic activity was picking up in 2022, the poor policy decision taken over the years, brought the economy to its worst state in history.

“The lack of foreign exchange, revenue, and also food security threatened, and continues to threaten the people and businesses of the country, which has resulted in a flight of human resources,” Wickremesinghe said according to Daily Mirror.

The report also quoted the Sri Lankan President saying: “While at present the exit of workers is celebrated by the government as it is expected to bring the required foreign exchange by way of remittance, the impact of the loss of talent required to build the economy will soon be felt. The tourism sector is already feeling the impact.” (IANS/ANI)

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