Colombo: Sri Lanka has announced June 20 as the new date for its parliamentary elections, after the initial plans to hold them on April 25 had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is hereby notified that the election for electing the members of Parliament for the aforesaid Electoral Districts will be held on 20th June 2020,” announced the official gazette of Sri Lanka.
The elections were initially scheduled for April 25, after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa ordered the dissolution of Parliament in the beginning of March, six months before its term was scheduled to end, reports Efe news.
These were set to be the country’s first parliamentary elections after Rajapaksa – considered a hero of the civil war against Tamil rebels – registered a landslide victory in presidential elections held in November.
However, the rapid spread of the highly contagious coronavirus infections forced the Sri Lankan authorities on March 19 to postpone the elections in a country that had 59 positive cases at the time.
The pandemic has dealt a severe blow to the tourism sector of this South Asian country, which was only just beginning to recover from the Easter Sunday terror attacks on April 21 last year that left over 250 dead.