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PC polls: Neither here nor there

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Published: 03:18 GMT, Oct 30, 2018 |
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A Supreme Court determination will be sought by the Election Commission on its role against the backdrop of the government’s repeated failure to hold provincial council elections, EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday (Monday).

The last straw on conducting the elections was the recommendations of the five-member committee chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

“The two-month deadline time given to the committee lapsed on the 28th. But committee member Prof. Balasundaram Pillai said recently that he had compiled a report which could be be gazetted if necessary,” he added.

Mr. Deshapriya said the EC needed at least three weeks to prepare the legal documents for the motion to be filed in the Supreme Court and another two months to prepare for the elections in the even that the SC directs the EC to hold the elections.

He told a news conference that the UNP and several other parties were keen to hold PC polls under the previous electoral system while the SLFP with some other parties were insisting that the elections be held under the new system.

“Parliament must approve one of the systems to hold the PC elections,” Mr. Deshapriya said.

He said he had written several letters to political parties represented in Parliament but none of them had given a firm response.

“All of them are agreeable to holding the elections as early as possible but none of them says how and when,” Mr. Deshapariya said and pointed out that the delimitation review committee was a failure having met only twice with no fruitful discussions being held and died a natural death on the 28th.

He said according to the 2018 electoral register, the number of voters had increased to 15,993,490 from 15,762,830 voters in the previous year.

“We are faced with a situation where a considerable number of households had indicated their reluctance to register as voters,” Mr. Deshapriya said and added that EC was in touch with the government to initiate a mechanism to introduce the Electronic Voting System (EVS).

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