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Held Up Due To COVID-19, General Elections In Sri Lanka On August 5

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Sri Lanka will hold the parliamentary elections on August 5, more than three months later because of the coronavirus, the election commission said after health authorities gave their approval.

A mock election will be held this weekend to test new health measures that will be implemented at polling booths and counting centres, commission chairman Mahinda Deshapriya was quoted by Colombo Page as saying . The relevant gazette notification has been issued amending the previous gazette notifications on the election date.

“It is hereby notified that the Election for electing the members of Parliament for the aforesaid Electoral Districts will be held on 05th August, 2020,” the new extraordinary gazette notification said.

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa dissolved Parliament on March 2 and the general election was scheduled on April 25.

However, the Election Commission had to postpone the election date to June 20 due to the coronavirus, which has killed 11 people in Sri Lanka and infected almost 2,000, according to the official data cited by Al Jazeera.

Sri Lanka has been steadily lifting lockdown restrictions, although a night-time curfew remains. Schools will reopen later this month, and foreign tourists will be allowed from August 1.

Rajapaksa had been hoping the elections would give his party a two-thirds majority in Parliament, allowing it to change the constitution and secure him wider powers.

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