SLMC to contest alone

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) led by Minister Rauf Hakeem, has decided to contest the elections for the North, North Western and Central provinces independently and not with the government.
The decision was taken when the SLMC High Command met last night to discuss the SLMC stand on the elections, an SLMC spokesman said.
The SLMC has been at odds with the government recently over the 13th Amendment to the constitution.
According to SLMC’s Secretary General, Hasen Ali, the crucial decision to contest alone was made after studying the options and the pros and cons of going solo. It was also based on the preference of the majority of the members of the party’s High Command, to contest under their own symbol of the tree to protect their identity.
Commenting at this occasion, Hasen Ali reiterated Minister Hakeem’s earlier proposal for all Muslim parties and groups to contest under one banner at the Northern Provincial Council elections. He said, that was the best option to follow. Although, the call was already made in the media, no positive response had been received from the contending groups.
Hasen Ali reiterated that this call was still open to those who wish to contest in alliance with them. He also said that preparations are underway to carry out campaigns in the respective provinces under the supervsion of the Leader, Minister Hakeem.
Following the nominations, Minister Hakeem, the party Chairman Minister Basheer Segu Dawood and himself, plan to carryout the election campaigns jointly, soon, he said. (Colombo Gazette)