The Election Commissioner has informed Speaker that it will not be possible to hold the provincial council elections this year as the changes to the Provincial Council Elections Amendment Act has not been made on time, UPFA MP Dallas Alahaperuma told Parliament today.
He said the letter sent by the Commissioner states that the PC polls could have been held in August this year only if the amendments were carried out by April 5. The MP said the presidential elections will have to be declared by October 5 while nominations and nominations fixed for October 21. He said therefore, it was not possible to hold the PC polls because the presidential elections cannot be postponed.
“Parliament will not be convened until May this year. Therefore we urge that the House should be convened for a special sitting so that the necessary amendments could be approved as soon as possible,” the MP said.
Chief Opposition Whip Mahinda Amaraweera also urged that the amendments be approved soon. “The SLFP has been blamed for delaying the polls. However it is possible to hold the polls under the previous system. We call for a special session to approve the amendments to the PC Amendment Act so that polls could be held," he said.
House Leader Lakshman Kiriella said UNP is not favour of delaying the polls. ‘"We are ready for polls at any time. We proposed that the polls be held under the previous system but others wanted it held under the new system. However, an amendment has to be approved for that as well,” he said.
JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said the polls should be held as soon as possible because he party members were keen to be elected to the PCs.
He said the rich and the corrupt could be elected under the PR system and urged for a new electoral system.
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said the party leaders discussed the issue recently and Ministers Rauff Hakeem and Mano Ganesan had wanted to meet President with regard to the local government elections and wanted time. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)