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UNP calls for referendum, wants elections postponed for two years

The United National Party (UNP) has proposed a referendum to postpone both the presidential and parliamentary elections by two years, allowing President Ranil Wickremesinghe to continue implementing economic reforms.

UNP General Secretary Palitha Range Bandara addressing a media briefing on Tuesday said that the President’s term must be extended by at least two years.

“If not five years, the President’s term must be extended by at least two years. The Parliament’s term must also be extended by two years without going for an election at this time,” Bandara said.

He also urged the main opposition, Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and the National People’s Power (NPP), to support this initiative.

Bandara stressed that postponing the elections would not be undemocratic if the process would involve elected representatives in Parliament passing a motion, which would then be followed by a referendum.

He further emphasized that the current economic crisis necessitates stability and continuity in leadership. “It is futile to waste money with elections at this crucial time. I urge all MPs to consider this,” he said.

Bandara argued that President Wickremesinghe’s ongoing reform efforts have already brought stability and must be allowed to continue until the economy fully recovers.

He added that Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike had also taken a decision to postpone elections in the 1970s, adding that necessary legal amendments can be made if required.

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