Race is on for the next Presidential Election- January 2010
Dec 18, 2009
By Janaka Alahapperuma
Twenty two (22) candidates have handed in their nominations for the upcoming Presidential Election at the Election Commissionerís Secretariat this morning on 17th December.

Eighteen (18) candidates from recognized political parties and five (5) Independent Groups are contesting the polls. All candidates met the Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake at his office at Rajagiriya this morning between 9.00 and 11.00 am.

The two leading contestants, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and retired Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka enter in to the race for the forthcoming election under the United Peopleís Freedom alliance and the newly formed opposition alliance, the New Democratic Front respectively.

Commissioner of Elections, Dayananda Dissanayake has only rejected Nelson Pereraís nomination papers for the Presidential Election, the 23rd applicant representing Sri Lanka Progressive Front. At the conclusion, the Commissioner of Elections addressed all the candidates and their representatives and announced that a thirty minute period was allocated to raise objections under the statute. Mr Dissanayake also called upon all candidates to extend their cooperation to help him to conduct a free and fair election and advised them on the necessities by law required to carry out their respective campaigns.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Opposition Common Candidate General Sarath Fonseka are seen here in the pictures handing over their nominations, smiling at each other, shaking hands and with their supporters at the Election Commissionerís Secretariat premises.

Pix by: Sudath Silva