Holding both the presidential and provincial council elections on the same day is constitutional but not practical, the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) said.
CaFFE said, during a meeting held with election monitors, Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said that these two elections would not be held on the same day.
“The back-benchers must show the same interest they show to select presidential candidates to hold provincial council elections. If that’s the case, provincial council elections in eight provinces could have been held already,” CaFFE Acting Executive Director Manas Makeen said.
“It’s a tragedy that these MPs show little interest in holding provincial council elections. The local council elections were held last year only due to the mediation of the civil society organisations. Neither the President nor the Prime Minister had showed any interest in holding provincial council elections before but the President recently asked the Supreme Court on holding the election under the existing system. This is a good sign,” Mr. Makeen said.
All Sri Lankan governments had attempted to hold elections that they think favours them, Makeen said, adding that this is an undemocratic practice. Thus it is likely that the party that wins the coming presidential election will hold a general election.
“CaFFE is of the opinion that holding a general election, without holding provincial council elections is anti-democratic because these councils are now governed by unelected representatives of the President. It is undemocratic to not hold election at the scheduled times and the main reason why political parties do not want to hold provincial council elections is that it will expose their true strength. CaFFE insists that provincial council elections should be the first election held after the coming presidential election,” Mr. Makeen added.