At 31 centres throughout Ceylon May 20, 393 candidates belonging to fourteen political parties filed their nomination papers for the General Election to be held July 20.
At 31 centres throughout Ceylon May 20, 393 candidates belonging to fourteen political parties filed their nomination papers for the General Election to be held July 20. Prime Minister Dudley Senanaike and Dr N.M. Pereira, leader of the Marxist Lanka Sama Samaj Party, were early arrivals at the Kegalle Courthouse, Colombo.
The new election was made necessary by the dissolution of Parliament in April after one month old Senanaike government was defeated by a vote of no confidence.
Three hundred and ninety-three candidates for the 145 Parliamentary seats is a vast improvement on the 898 candidates from 29 parties who contested the March General Election.
Premier Senanaike's United National Party has the largest number of candidates - 128. Second largest number - 98 - are fielded by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) now led by the widow of the late Premier Solomon Bandaranaike who was assassinated last year.
Fifty-five candidates are fielded by the People's United Front (Mahajana Eksath Peramuna-MEP). The Marxist Lanka Sama Samaj Party (LSSP) 21, and the Tamil Federal Party 21. There are 36 independents.
In the forthcoming Election there will be 70 straight contests - of which 46 are between the UNP and the SLFP. The SLFP and Dr Pereira's LSSP have an electoral arrangement to avoid triangular contests and splitting of what the respective party leaders term anti-UNP votes.
No party emerged from the last election with a clear majority. The UNP won the largest number of seats - 50. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party won 46, the Tamil Federal Party - 15, the LSSP - 10, and the MEP - 10.