Sri Lanka's June 20 election date left in balance after political parties discussion inconclusive

    Colombo, May 2 (PTI) Sri Lanka's decision to hold the parliamentary elections on June 20 was left in balance on Saturday as a special meeting of political parties to firm up the date ended inconclusive, party representatives said.
    Sri Lanka in mid-April postponed the parliamentary elections by nearly two months to June 20 due to the coronavirus outbreak that has killed seven people and infected 690 others in the island nation.
    President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on March 2 dissolved Parliament, six months ahead of schedule and called a snap election on April 25.
    The independent election commission had called the meeting with party representatives in view of the ongoing lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    "There was no final decision. We pointed out the difficulties faced by the public, their thoughts are not on the election," Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the leader of the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, said.
    "People are not ready for the election, health will be their main concern right now," Dayasiri Jayasekera, another political leader from the Freedom Party, said.
    The Election Commission having set the date said they would be directed by the health authorities in making the decision on the date of the poll.
    The government allies took the position despite the pandemic the democratic rights of the people must also ensured.
    The current lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic is set to be end on May 11.
    The election was called six months ahead of the schedule.
    The Opposition claims the March 2 dismissal order of Parliament has already rendered unconstitutional as the new Parliament could not be convened now before the three-month constitutional requirement.
    The Opposition demand to reconvene the dismissed Parliament was rejected by President Rajapaksa on Friday.
    If Rajapaksa were to reconvene the dismissed Parliament, the Opposition pledged support to tackle COVID-19 thereby preventing a constitutional clash as the new Parliament cannot be met by June 2. PTI CORR RUP RUP

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)