On a day of high political drama when the ruling coalition of Sri Lankan President suffered serious defections, the election commission on Friday set January 8, 2015 a month after the close of nominations on December 8 as the date for the Presidential election.
The Sri Lankan Election Commission announced that the Presidential election will be held on January 8, 2015. President Mahinda Rajapaksa issued a proclamation on Thursday saying that he is desirous of holding a Presidential election seeking a third term. As on date there are two candidates in the fray, President Rajapaksa himself and the joint opposition candidate, Maithripala Sirisena.
Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena resigned on Friday and said he would run as an opposition candidate against President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The fisheries minister and three other Parliamentarians also resigned from their positions, pledging support for Sirisena.
The main opposition United National Party (UNP), along with many Rajapaksa rivals, have thrown their weight behind Sirisena as their common candidate for the presidency.