Second preference for Gota: Hisbullah | Sunday Observer

Second preference for Gota: Hisbullah

3 November, 2019

Launching his manifesto last Monday, Presidential candidate M L A M Hizbullah called for his voters to cast their second preferential vote in favour of Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the November 16 poll, appearing to confirm speculation that the Eastern Province strongman was being fielded at the behest of the SLPP.

Hisbullah justified his call to support Rajapaksa claiming that a majority of his supporters have demanded it.

Earlier in the campaign season, S.B. Dissanayake, UPFA MP, who recently joined the SLPP claimed that Hisbullah was actually supporting Gotabaya Rajapaksa, but SLPP frontliners denied the claim.

However, during the manifesto launch he said, after analysing elections manifestos of other candidates, they decided to support the candidate whose manifesto was similar to that of his and that it was the SLPP manifesto that came close.

Speaking at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute last Monday, Hisbullah announced that he would soon take the decision to tell his voters to cast their second preferential vote for Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He is the first of the 35 candidates running for election to have named one of the main candidates to be their voters’ second preference. The call comes amid concerns raised by the Elections Commission that there were at least 10 dummy candidates in the ring for the November 16 poll to openly support main candidates. The National Elections Commission (NEC) Chairman, Mahinda Deshapriya at a press conference Thursday said they have identified around 10 Presidential candidates out of the 35 to be ‘proxy candidates’. According to Deshapriya these individuals have so far not appointed any polling agents for themselves, which is a clear indication that their intention in facing the election is different.