President hints at Presidential election being held in October 2024.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has informed his close associates and hinted to his cabinet that the Presidential Election will be held as scheduled, indicating Basil Rajapaksa’s failure in convincing the President to hold the Parliamentary Polls first, the Daily Mirror learns.

A senior political source said that Wickremesinghe had in the past two cabinet meetings discussed the elections and indicated that the Presidential Election would be held as scheduled.

Although the Elections Commission is yet to be notified officially, sources said that the elections will be held in the first week of October.

The three main candidates who will run for the presidency are Ranil Wickremesinghe from the UNP, Sajith Premadasa from the SJB and Anura Kumara Dissanayake from the NPP.

The main SLPP is not expected to field its own candidate and will pledge its support to Wickremesinghe, with the SLPP camp already being divided with some members already pledging their support to the President.

The SLPP have in recent weeks been campaigning for a parliamentary election to be held first with Basil also meeting Wickremesinghe last week in order to convince him, but talks seem to have failed with the President remaining firm on his decision.

NPP’s Anura Kumara Dissanayake who is also continuing a vigorous local and international campaign eyeing to win the Presidency received 3.9 per cent votes in the 2019 Presidential Election. If he is to win the election this year, he will have to increase his vote base drastically to poll at least 50 per cent or above in the upcoming election.
SJB’s Sajith Premadasa who won 40 per cent votes in the 2019 election race is also continuing his campaign but with trouble in his camp with last-minute notable crossovers likely before the Presidential Polls, he will need to campaign harder to poll the 50 per cent or above.

Wickremesinghe himself will have to prepare himself for a tough campaign if he wants to win the Presidency. With the UNP getting wiped out in the past election, political sources say his campaign will need to be stronger, especially at the grassroots level where the UNP has always lacked popularity.

Political analysts have rubbished the recent polls being released on social media by various organizations and individuals indicating percentages on which candidate is likely to win the presidential race as still over 40 per cent of voters still seem to be undecided on who to vote for in the upcoming election, due to the failure of politicians in general which led to the country’s turmoil and worst ever economic crisis.