Sri Lanka president abandons re-election bid

Sri Lanka president abandons re-election bid

Sri Lanka president abandons re-election bid

The accepting of nominations for the upcoming Presidential Election commenced at 9 am and concluded at 11 am at the Elections Commission, this morning (07).

Yesterday, eight presidential hopefuls paid their deposits at the EC, bringing the tally to 41, up from 19 who contested in 2015 and the highest since the first Presidential Election in the country, which was held in 1982.

Thirty five candidates submitted their nomination papers today to contest the Presidential Election and the Elections Commission accepted all of them.

The President says that the SLFP is trying to provide the country with leaders who work for the country as citizens and not for themselves.

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The eldest of the Rajapakse brothers, Chamal, was a backup candidate in case Gotabhaya was disqualified over his dual Sri Lanka-US nationality. Sirisena's Freedom Party (SLFP) had demanded Rajapaksa's People's Party to abandon its flower bud symbol to contest under a common symbol.

Mr Sirisena caused a constitutional crisis a year ago when he sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, the SLPP sources said the request was ignored as the SLPP had already paid its deposit under its symbol. The candidates can file nominations till noon Monday.

Gotabhaya Rajapakse is frontrunner in the campaign for the November 16 election, even though his bid is widely seen as a front to get Mahinda, who was the country's leader from 2005 to 2015, back into power. Among the other prominent candidates are former army chief Mahesh Senanayake and MK Shivajilingam, a hardline Tamil politician from the Tamil dominated northern province.

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