SLMC will meet on Friday to decide on their stand in regard to the forthcoming Presidential Elections.
“We are currently gathering comments from the people. On Friday (31), the Party’s high command will meet at our party headquarters to decide on our stand vis-à-vis the forthcoming Presidential Election and we shall most probably state our stand after the official announcement of the election has been made,” SLMC General Secretary Hasan Ali told Ceylon Today.
Concerning Budget 2015, Ali said, although the SLMC would be supporting the 2015 Budget in Parliament, they questioned the implementation of it, in particular querying as to how the government proposed to bridge the budget deficit.
With regard to the future presidential poll, he said, “The government has signed a memorandum of understanding with us prior to the last Eastern Provincial Council election where they gave us a lot of promises. We shall have to consider all of these while speaking to our members in local authorities and bodies, five of whom are represented in the Ampara District alone.”
There is no guarantee of the people benefiting from this ‘election-budget’ as it is termed, since it will only come into effect post-Presidential election, SLMC claimed.
SLMC General Secretary Hasan Ali said that though on the surface of it the budget is very flowery and has a good colouring to it, when one digs deeper, one finds it confusing.
“How is the government going to bridge the budget deficit? People call this an ‘election’ budget. Apart from this, by the time the people get the benefit, the Presidential Election will be over. Afterwards, we do not know what will really happen. Although, all this is supposed to come into effect after 01 January 2015, the benefits will probably come through only by February, thus the people will not be able to taste the fruit of the budget.
There are however some good things in this budget,” he said. “Our stand with regard to the budget vote will not influence our position concerning the Presidential Election and as to whether we will stand by the government’s candidate or not,” Ali said.