The local government polls will be conducted on February 10 next year, Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said today.
He said the date was selected after much deliberation but however, regretted the premature announcement of the date by some politicians.
"This kine of action will create the perception that we are acting according to the whims of politicians. It is not the case. One can see how we will respond to any political authority if found violating the election law," he told a news conference .
Nearly 15,760,809 voters will be eligible to elect 8,293 members to 24 municipal councils, 41 urban councils and 276 pradeshiya sabhas on February 10 in what is believed to be the biggest ever election held in the country.
Mr. Deshapriya expressed regret over the rejection of two SLFP nomination lists, six SLPP lists and of several minority parties and independent groups. He said the nomination lists had been rejected solely on legal grounds and that he the other EC members would endorse the decision of the returning officers who rejected the lists.
"We recognise the right to seek legal redress by the political parties or independent groups whose nominations had been rejected. In the event of legal action we are prepared to explain how and why the nominations lists were rejected,” Mr. Deshapriya said. (Sandun A Jayasekera and Kelum Bandara)