2020 General Election: History in the making?
3 years ago
With days to go for the much awaited 2020 general election, political parties are engaged in last ditch efforts to secure their slots in the ninth Parliament. All campaigning for Wednesday’s (5) polls will have to be concluded by midnight tonight and the wait till begin for the final results to be released on Thursday. The 2020 general election is likely to go down in history for several reasons. It will be the election that has been held under unique circumstances after being postponed on at least two occasions. It will also see two former presidents contesting to return to Parliament and interestingly, by contesting from the same political party. However, this week’s polls will capture much attention in Sri Lanka’s political history as it will bring about the downfall of the two main political parties that have existed in the country post Independence – the United National Party (UNP) and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). The election will see the emergence of two new political parties that have sprung from the UNP and SLFP – the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), respectively. SLPP Founder and theoretician, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, in a recent interview with an English daily newspaper, was quoted as saying that the SLPP had learnt much from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Indian Bharatha Janata Party (BJP), which he had stated are two of the best political parties in the world. “I want our party to be a party like the Chinese Communist Party and act how they act. The party has its say because the party has responsibility. When a minister is appointed by the people, the MPs can come, but the ministerial portfolio is given by the President and the Prime Minister. We can also be like the Indian Bharatha Janata Party. We have learnt from many political parties in the world. The best two are the BJP and CCP,” Basil Rajapaksa had said. However, the run-up to the election has also been quite an intense period with much infighting between candidates contesting from the same alliance (seen mostly between the SLFP and SLPP) and the suspension and sacking of party members (witnessed in the UNP and SJB).