Several worried ministers and MPs of the SLPP met with one of the party’s senior-most officials this week to raise concern over the delay in making preparations for the upcoming presidential election.
The ministers and MPs pointed out that one particular opposition party, though small in size, was making hectic preparations for the election. This includes holding large-scale meetings, setting up new “bala mandalas” and similar measures throughout the country.
“Why are we delaying our campaign? Won’t we be at a disadvantage if we don’t move to meet this threat?” the ministers and MPs asked the official. The senior party man, however, pointed out that the presidential election was at least six months away. “If we start our campaign now, what will be left to say six months down the line when the election is actually around the corner?” he asked his colleagues.
He then told the others that he had it on good authority that the smaller opposition party was receiving both political and financial backing from the diplomatic mission of a powerful Western nation. “Several NGOs connected to this embassy are also providing them funding. That is the secret behind their large-scale campaign. We are getting more information. Let us see how much help the embassy will give them,” said the official.
He added that in the meantime, the SLPP party would carry on as it had planned for now by reorganising itself at the grassroots level and holding pocket meetings.