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Chamber of Commerce wants election soon

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In the wake of the impact of present climate of uncertainty on the country’s economic and business environment, Sri Lanka’s oldest and largest private sector chamber, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) on Thursday urged the President and Government to call a General Election at the earliest possible opportunity preferably keeping to the dates announced in the ‘100-day program’.

“The Chamber notes and appreciates the many positive steps taken by the President and Government to deal with pressing issues pertaining to constitutional reforms, law and order, independence of the judiciary and media, good governance, cost of living and international relations. However, the Chamber also notes – in this instance with concern - the diverse positions taken on the forthcoming general election by parties currently forming the coalition government.

In the meanwhile, pending a general election and a stable government being elected, the formulation and implementation of medium- and long-term economic policies have been put on hold. As a result, a period of uncertainty prevails over the current business climate and investors both local and foreign are adopting a cautious approach towards investing in Sri Lanka. This is unfortunate since there has been much renewed interest in the Country’s economic potential post the presidential election in January of this year. Such interest has only been tempered by the prevailing sense of uncertainty. In the event of an investment slowdown, the country’s growth targets for the year are likely to be affected as are government revenue collections,” a statement from the Chamber said

“We also note that the 100-day program which formed an integral part of the election manifesto of President Maithripala Sirisena - to which the coalition partners pledged support - clearly stipulates that Parliament will be dissolved on  April 23, 2015 and a general election called thereafter. Whilst a few days delay to accommodate urgent constitutional reforms will not be viewed negatively, an attempt to postpone the general elections on fragile grounds will be seen as being contrary to the promise of good governance,” the statement added.

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