GMOA asserts general election not priority due to coronavirus

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Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya declared on Monday, March 16, that the general election scheduled for April 25 wouldn’t be put off, but relevant authorities were now seriously discussing the likelihood of postponement.

The decision to extend public sector holiday by three more days up to Thursday (19) was announced after EC Chairman’s assurance underscored the need for a fresh review of the overall threat posed by corona-virus.

The EC, having accepted nominations as scheduled till Thursday (19) noon could put off the general election, sources said.

Having dissolved parliament on March 2, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa scheduled the parliamentary election for April 25. Asked whether the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) felt the need to reschedule the parliamentary election in view of the unprecedented health crisis, one of its spokesmen Dr. Prasad Colombage emphasised that the government’s priority should be to maintain essential services and implementing the programme to tackle COVID-19.

Responding to another query, the GMOA spokesman said they were of the view that any other matter, including countrywide election couldn’t be considered a priority. He also said that the failure to take timely action could lead to a crisis similar to that experienced by Italy or Korea.

According to the GMOA official the country was in such a precarious position a major exercise such as national election could cause a huge setback to anti-COVID-19 project.