COLOMBO, Sept 24, Reuter: Sri Lankan President Junius Jayewardene on Saturday promised to hold presidential elections later this year and parliamentary elections’ early next year.

Jayewardene announced a week ago he would step down when his current term ends in February.

The Ruling United National Party has named the Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa as its presidential candidate.

His main rival will be former Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike, the Opposition Freedom Party’s nominee.

Jayewardene, addressing a meeting of plantation executives, also said he would not hold a referendum, instead of an election as he did six years ago, to extend his Government’s term.

“We are having this year the election to the Presidency. We are haying early next year the election for the parliament,” he said.

“We do not intend to have another referendum though we can and though it is constitutional,” Jayewardene added.

Election officials said the Presidential poll would be held about mid-December after acceptance of nominations on November 10.

Article extracted from this publication >> September 30, 1988