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General Elections can be held within one and a half months: Romesh de Silva PC

22 May 2020 07:32 am - 14     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Polling could be taken on any day in another one and a half months time unless there was no postponement, President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva informed Supreme Court yesterday.

Making his submissions on the seven Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions filed challenging the General Election date and the dissolution of Parliament, President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva appeared on behalf of the respondent, Secretary to President P.B. Jayasundara.

Denying the fact that EC could fix the date for polls within nine to eleven weeks after receiving the green light from the health authorities, PC de Siva said that the EC still had the time to decide the election date.

“Very recently the EC had fixed the election date for June20 and now they say they can’t conduct the election on that day. So they can fix another day according to Section 24 of the Parliamentary Election Act,” he said.

PC de Silva emphasized that the Commission does not have to take 60 to 75 days to hold the election. He added in terms of the original proclamation issued by the President the election date had fixed for April 25, which was about one and a half month after issuing the proclamation.

“Within the one and half month period, people who wish to contest the election can handover their nomination to the Commission and EC can consider those nominations. In the current situation, the Commission had completed this work and they do not need 60 to 75 days to conduct the election,” PC de Silva said.

Presenting his submissions on the dissolution of the Parliament, once a five-year term of Parliament comes to an end whether the President issued a proclamation or not, Parliament can be dissolved and it was the same situation that happened when President dissolved Parliament.

He explained that according to powers vested upon the President as per Article 33 (2) (c) of the Constitution the President can dissolve Parliament.

“The original proclamation issued by the President on March 02 stating the dissolving of Parliament and the election date, had stratified the criteria mentioned in Article 70 (5) (a) of the Constitution. But the argument of the petitioners is the general election dates have been changed,” he said.

PC de Silva added that the petitioners had failed to bring up challenges to the proclamation issued by the President on dissolving Parliament within one month and there was no validity for the challenges making after one month period.

Referring to the use of public funds, Romesh de Silva PC said that there was no need of a Parliament to withdraw money from the consolidated fund.

He said that if Parliament has been dissolved the President has total power to withdraw from the consolidated fund up to three months of the date prior to commencing of the new Parliament.(Yoshitha Perera)

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  Comments - 14

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  • Tuwan Friday, 22 May 2020 11:47 AM

    People don't want election,They WANT complete eradication of COVID 19 and safety. We need people first to have election.

    Gama Mahage Friday, 22 May 2020 11:52 AM

    Very clear explanation, black and white. No grey area whatsoever. One should know a "must" is never 100%. The desire is to reach that , if impossible "fair and reasonable" actions can be taken if the constitution does not cover what to do "if a must does not happen", which is a bad and primitive mistake on the part of the legal drafters.

    Citizen Friday, 22 May 2020 12:03 PM

    Does he know what will happen in one month's time!!!

    Andrew Silva Friday, 22 May 2020 12:04 PM

    Ramesh de Silva must be a counsel but he is not a medical specialist.

    Andrew Silva Friday, 22 May 2020 12:08 PM

    Counsel de Silva wants to wear two different sizes of foot wear on each of his feet.

    susil Friday, 22 May 2020 12:11 PM

    if what Romesh says is true- then President can draw funds up to 3 months prior to the commencing of new parliament-President can run the country for the next 2 years without an election and continue to draw funds up to 3 months prior to commencing new parliament-i.2 for 21 months-what a joke of an interpretation of the constitution

    CITIZEN Friday, 22 May 2020 12:55 PM

    ROMESH DE SILVA IS A VERY CLEVER COUNSEL. TODAY IT IS COMPLETELY A DIFFERENT SCENARIO WHERE ONE CANNOT DETERMINE EXACTLY WHEN WILL THE COUNTRY BE FREE OF THE COVID 19 VIRUS, SO LONG AS THIS VIRUS THREATENS THE PEOPLE, AN ELECTION IS NOT RECOMMENDED. TODAY WHEN IS ANY BODY'S GUESS

    Tell the marines Friday, 22 May 2020 12:56 PM

    General Elections can be held within one and a half months: Romesh de Silva PC " What and what lawyers fees can make them say. . Humbug. I have lost all respect for this fellow.

    Alex Friday, 22 May 2020 02:05 PM

    "Polling could be taken on any day in another one and a half months time unless there was no postponement.." Was this actually yr statement. Even a primary student could've said this. Hahahaha

    ravin Friday, 22 May 2020 02:07 PM

    Interdependent? What is independent ?

    Jayampathi Friday, 22 May 2020 02:57 PM

    How many lawyers including Mr. Romesh de Silva failed to produce witnesses to court due to COVID situation. People who failed to have one to one communication with their clients talk big having countrywide elections. Joke.... Any govt. who speak favour of election should not speak about social distance.

    Novote Friday, 22 May 2020 03:00 PM

    Who is going to vote ???? Maybe He can vote for all of us As he seems to be talking on behalf of the people of this country ???? Clever counsel !

    Novote Friday, 22 May 2020 03:17 PM

    So who is coming to vote???? And Yes the election can probably be Justified by clever lawyers and held But at what cost we will know by July!! Thanks for caring so much about the people of Sri Lanka and their rights (what a sad situation)

    Hareen Friday, 22 May 2020 03:28 PM

    If election can be held why is the Country having Curfew, with Colombo and Gampaha Curfew until further notice and other areas Curfew from 8.00 pm to 5.00 am, are you guys crazy? Educated fools trying to fool the public.


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