Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) leader Mahinda Rajapaksa says the people of Elpitiya have fired the first salvo ahead of the Presidential elections next month.
The SLPP won the Pradeshiya Sabha elections in Elpitiya yesterday and Rajapaksa requested all supporters of the opposition alliance to savour the victory peacefully and without inconveniencing anyone.
He said that the opposition alliance formed by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the political parties of the Joint Opposition scored a resounding victory at the Elpitiya elections.
“This election was held on the basis of nominations submitted at the beginning of 2018. Hence the Sri Lanka Freedom Party had fielded a separate list. But today, we have formed an alliance to ensure the victory of one candidate at the presidential elections. The opposition alliance has won all the wards in the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha . As a whole the opposition alliance has won 69% of the valid votes cast. The UNP won only 24%. The JVP has not obtained anything more than their usual percentage of votes,” he said.
Rajapaksa said that the people of Elpitiya have with great foresight and integrity, conclusively defeated the attempt made by the Government to retain power by deceiving the people through the distribution of land, jobs and all manner of material inducements.
“I need not dwell on the disasters that have befallen this country after January 2015. The economy is in a state of collapse. In the run up to the Elpitiya election, the Department of Census and Statistics released the latest data indicating that unemployment had increased further. The economic growth rate is now about a third of what it was under my Government. Businesses are struggling. The indebtedness of the country is at an all-time high. There is no external, global reason for this economic downturn,” Rajapaksa said.
He said that the downturn that has taken place in this country after 2015 is due entirely to political reasons and the situation can be remedied only through politics.