The government is planning to go for a presidential election before holding the local government polls, according to highly placed government sources.

Clause 31(3)(a) of the constitution allows for a first-time president to call for a presidential election after completing four years in office.

A Supreme Court determination is to be sought on the constitutionality of holding presidential polls before announcing the election, said the sources.

The incumbent was elected by MPs at a vote in parliament to complete the remaining period of the tenure of his predecessor, which started on November 17, 2019.

That four year requirement gets completed on November 17, 2023.


Gammanpila disputes


However, Pivithuru Hela Urumaya leader Udaya Gammanpila has refuted claims by some that president Ranil Wickremesinghe had been delaying the LG polls with the intention of announcing a presidential election on November 18.

As per clause 31(3a)(a) of the constitution, an elected president could do so upon completion of four years in office, but sub-clause (5) prevents an appointed successor from doing so, said Gammanpila at a media briefing on February 22.


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