Masterminds behind the formation of a new political front with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the helm revealed that the name and symbol of the party was expected to be finalized by the end of next week.

In addition, moves are also afoot to form two new trade unions for the public and private sector institutions that would be affiliated to the newly formed political party.

Sources revealed that discussions pertaining to the formation of the trade unions are in progress and would be officially announced after the political party is formed.

Commenting on continuous speculations over the formation of a fresh political party, former Minister and Parliamentarian, Basil Rajapaksa told Weekend Nation that the process of obtaining suggestions for a suitable party name through public representations was already underway. “The process to finalise the name would be complete by end of next week,” he said.

It was speculated that an announcement regarding the launch of the new party would be announced at today’s rally in Ratnapura.

Rajapaksa, however, said that the process was not complete.

Meanwhile, Mahinda Yapa Abewardena, an SLFP MP within the Joint Opposition, however, said that even though he along with several other members were not supportive of a new party, the SLFP and the government were pushing them towards forming a fresh political outfit.

Meanwhile, the Elections Secretariat pointed out that no new political party or independent group or candidate could be registered in-between the period of calling for nominations for elections and the declaration of results.

The ongoing Court of Appeal case regarding the local authority elections in the Pradeshiya Sabhas of Maritimepaththu and Pudukuduirippu in the Mullaitivu district is also a factor.

Additional Commissioner of the Legal and Investigation Branch of the Elections Secretariat, M.M. Mohamed said that the Election Commission had sought and was acting on the advice of the Attorney General with regard to the two pending local authority elections concerning which the nominations process is over even though the elections have been postponed due to the issue.

He added that the Commission could not prevent any politician deciding to switch sides or forming an ad-hoc party or any such change and such wishes of the politicians did not come under the purview of the Commission.

Sections 7, 8 and 9 of the Parliament Elections Act, No. 01 of 1981 and its amendments, outline the process concerning the registration of a new political party or independent group or candidate.

“The Election Commission must call for applications. Then so many documents must be submitted. The Commission then scrutinizes the documents and takes a decision. The Commission’s decision is the final decision. The Commission only deals with party leaders and secretaries,” he remarked.