The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) on Thursday expressed confidence in winning the “soon to be held” local government elections, while dismissing the threat posed by the Joint Opposition.
Addressing the media at the weekly SLFP press briefing in Colombo, Fisheries Minister and UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said that the long awaited local government elections will take place once the Act has been tabled in Parliament at the next parliamentary sessions.
“We’re ready for an election at any time. We have named our nominees, and we’ve informed our party organisers to get to work on a grassroots level,” said Amaraweera.
Party politics had taken a backseat in the wake of the recent floods, said Amaraweera, adding that now that the worst is over, the political machinery is back on.
“We have issued instructions set up branch associations, youth and women’s associations and to organise the party overall,” he said.
The SLFP disciplinary committee has also been strengthened, said the Minister. The party is expected to start inquires on some members. Amaraweera did not name the members in question but said that they have all been informed of the impending disciplinary inquiries.
According to Amaraweera, 95% of the SLFP nominees for the local government polls have already been selected, and lists have been sent to party organisers who will iron out any issues utilising their local knowledge and send the lists back to the party hierarchy.
“We will contest as the SLFP. Anyone is welcome to run with us,” he said, referring to SLFPers in the Joint Opposition led by Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
“We have extended an open invitation to them. Those who want to win an election will have to join us. Those who want to form a government in 2020 will have to join us. Anyone who wants to establish a UNP government in 2020 will team up with Prof. G. L. Peries and the split the SLFP in half and give that advantage to the UNP,” said Amaraweera.