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Sri Lankan cabinet fails to finalise poll dates

November 19, 2009 16:11 IST

The Sri Lankan cabinet has failed to take a decision on the timing of the Presidential elections in the country, amid reports that the country's former top general may be the opposition candidate to challenge incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa.

"A decision would be taken soon on whether to hold Presidential elections or Parliamentary polls first," Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa told reporters after the meeting.

He said the final decision on the polls would be taken by the President soon. Yapa made it clear that the ruling United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) was prepared to face the Opposition challenge for any polls.

Meanwhile, former premier and UNP leader Ranil Wicremasinghe said nomination of former Chief of Defence Staff Sarath Fonseka as the opposition presidential candidate in the event of the polls would be subject to certain conditions.

The UNP along with some minority Tamil and Muslim parties formed a United National Front earlier this month to face elections.

While the Parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held in April, there is speculation on whether Rajapaksa would call for Presidential polls two years ahead of schedule to cash in on his popularity after victory over LTTE.

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