In a scathing attack on the Elections Commissioner, the UPFA Gampaha district leader and Minister Anura Bandaranaike said the Commissioner`s statement that candidates outside the list cannot be appointed to replace those who resigned was highly controversial and could not be final.
?Obviously, it will be contested. Until the final determination it remains only a statement,? Minister Bandaranaike told the Daily Mirror yesterday.
Speaking on the loss at the Gamapaha district polls, the Minister however said voters in Gampaha were not misled by Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake`s statement.
? The highest rate of literacy in the whole country is in the district of Gampaha and they are much wise than some think,? the Minister said, obviously referring to Gamhapa district stalwart Jeyaraj Fernandopulle`s comments on Sunday that the Commissioner`s statement affected the SLFP vote.
The UPFA`s nomination list for the Gampaha Municipal Council had been rejected but it campaigned through the Liberal party with the book as its symbol.
Citing his own reasons for the loss of Gampaha, an SLFP bastion, the Minister said one of the reasons was the open bickering among the candidates.
The Minister said the JVP fared well in Gampaha bagging some 6,000 votes and this also would have had an impact on the UPFA. Minister Bandaranaike also said the Gampaha Municipal Council has been a UNP stronghold right throughout despite the Gampaha district being an SLFP stronghold.