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* Over 400 ruling party applicants to contest for Sri Lanka's provincial council polls
Tue, Jan 21, 2014, 12:36 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 21, Colombo: Interviews to select the candidates from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent party of ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA), to contest for the upcoming provincial council elections were held yesterday.

Over 400 applicants have participated in the interviews held at the SLFP headquarters in Colombo on Monday to select candidates for nominations from the SLFP for the Western and Southern provincial council elections, the state-run radio said.

The party officials earlier said that there are only 25 slots available in both provincial councils.

General Secretary of the SLFP Minister Maithripala Sirisena led the interview board for selection of candidates for the Western Provincial Council while Senior Vice President of the SLFP Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva led the interview board to select candidates for the Southern Provincial Council.

Ministers Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, S.B. Dissanayake, and Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, and the Chief Ministers of the Central and Uva Provinces Sarath Ekanayake and Sashendra Rajapaksa respectively comprised the Western PC interview board.

Ministers A.H.M. Fowzie, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Vijith Vijayamuni de Soysa, and Nirmala Kotelawala, and the Chief Minister of the Sabaragamuwa Province Mahipala Herath were the interview board members for the Southern PC.

The SLFP Central Committee will make the final decision on the short listed candidates.

Meanwhile, Minister Maithripala Sirisena has held discussions with the constituent parties of the UPFA on getting their nominations for the elections of the both provinces. The SLFP will contest the election under the banner of the United People's Freedom Alliance.

Earlier Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), a coalition partner of the UPFA said the party will contest the Western Province and the Galle and Matara districts of the Southern Province independently. The party has not yet made a decision on how to contest the Hambantota district of the Southern Province.

The ruling party expects to finalize its list of candidates for the Provincial Council polls by the 27th of this month.

** Related Story :: Sri Lanka Ruling party to finalize list of candidates for provincial polls by 27th

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