National Election Commission (NEC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya today said that the NEC has the authority to decide when the postponed parliamentary election would be held.
“Despite many reports with various views and beliefs being circulated, urging to either postpone or hold parliamentary elections, the NEC cannot be pressurized to arrive at a decision in this regard,” Mr. Deshapriya said in a post in his Facebook.
The translation of the statement:
Journalists and politicians have been inquiring as to what the National Election Commission (NEC) would do regarding the decision of an election date during today's meeting (April 20). I cannot issue a statement regarding this subject as the NEC comprises of three persons. Controversial and sensitive subjects, especially ones which should be discussed within the Commission would not be publicized first through media either by myself or the NEC. Therefore my views cannot be made public at this moment.
However the prevailing situation as well as every available alternative would be discussed by the NEC. The NEC has the authority to decide when the postponed parliamentary election would be held. Despite many reports with various views and beliefs being circulated, urging to either postpone or hold parliamentary elections, the NEC cannot be pressurized to arrive at a decision in this regard.
However every fact that has been communicated with us, especially with regard to the control of the Covid-19 pandemic, will be considered when making a decision to hold a free, fair and transparent election. Measures to create an appropriate environment where the election would be held on a level playing field would also be considered, when making such a decision.
The NEC would consider the effects of the Covid-19 virus, its containment while obtaining views of relevant consultants as well as our own officials in this process. We believe that this would enable the NEC to make an informed decision.
I have maintained an unbiased professional record, with no partisanship toward any politician, political party or group since I joined the Elections Department in 1983. I will maintain my professional record in the same manner in future. I favour the constitution, democracy and the people. In my final analysis, I favour the people and will continue to the favour the people.