Confident Sri Lanka to hold elections before April 2010

      Sri Lanka will hold both presidential and parliamentary elections before April 2010, the BBC quoted its state radio, as saying. The holding of the presidential poll nearly two years ahead of schedule reflects the government's popularity and the announcement comes five months after its military victory over Tamil Tiger rebels. The move also comes three days after the coalition of President Mahinda Rajapaksa scored its eighth clear victory in provincial polls. The coalition has now decided the decks are clear for elections by April. Rajapaksa, who is hugely popular among the Sinhalese majority, is likely to score a clear victory. The president is hoping for a two-thirds majority that would enable him to change the constitution, possibly making provision for more than two successive presidential terms.

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