Five million undecided voters waiting to hear economic policies of presidential candidates: Charitha Herath

Five million undecided voters are waiting to hear the economic policies of the presidential candidates who will be running for President in October 2024, Member of Parliament Dr. Charitha Herath of Nidahas Janatha Sabawa (Freedom People’s Congress) told the media yesterday.

Presidential elections are scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka sometime between September and October 2024 according to the Constitution of Sri Lanka where voters will elect a President for a term of five years. Incumbent President Ranil Wickremesinghe is eligible to run for re-election although he himself has not announced that he would be running. However, Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and Jathika Jana Balawegaya (JJB), representing the Opposition have already become the two front runners in the contest.

In this backdrop, MP Dr. Charitha Herath, who has had a background in university teaching and multiple academic disciplines whose stock in trade is more logic than rhetoric said that there are millions of voters who are keen to weigh on the economic policies of all presidential candidates.

“We know that the government and Pohottuwa (Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna) are very closely related like the two sides of the same coin. We don’t agree with their economic policies. The SJB has an economic programme. The JJB is still going out announcing various concepts but they have still not publicised a proper economic programme of their own.

The leftist political parties are in discussions to come up with their economic policies, and if they announce one, there will be four optional economic programmes for the people to consider. We know the economic programme agreed between President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Pohottuwa. Freedom People’s Congress doesn’t agree with that, and we want to discuss further on other economic policies once they are formally announced. Our party has not closed negotiations with anyone. What we can say right now is; five million voters still remain undecided and they are waiting to hear from all candidates about their economic policies before they decide to cast their votes,” he said.

As per the constitutional election laws, Sri Lankans are to witness the swearing-in of their new president in exactly 174 days.

Meanwhile, according to SJB MP Nalin Bandara, the much expected debate between SJB and JJB on their economic policies should take place in not more than three weeks if they work out the modalities to make it a reality instead of an illusion.

A number of television stations have already expressed their willingness to telecast this debate as it is tipped to be the most sought after political television braodcast.