Sri Lanka’s twice-postponed parliamentary elections are now scheduled for Aug. 5, the electoral authority said on Wednesday.
The island nation’s elections were originally set down for April 25 and then moved to June 20 as the coronavirus outbreak spread around the globe. The June date was later cancelled, too.
The August elections will be held with strict health guidelines in place, including attendance limits at campaign events and social distancing measures on polling day.
“Our objective is to make sure that the election is held in a manner that does not contribute to the spread of COVID-19,” the chairman of the National Elections Commission, Mahinda Deshapriaya, told journalists.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was elected to the post in November, dissolved parliament in March – six months ahead of schedule. He hopes to boost his party’s standing in parliament.
Rajapaksa was constitutionally entitled to dissolve parliament six months before its five year term ended in September.