A presidential directive has gone to the Election Commission to inform him immediately about the cost of holding a presidential election.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe has summoned chairman R.M.L. Ratnayake and other commission officials to the Presidential Secretariat and told them the expenditure needed to be included in the next budget.
He told them to send the cost estimate to the Finance Ministry and discuss it further.
According to government sources, a presidential election is likely early next year.