Jaffna District TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said yesterday he handed over a private member’s bill to the parliamentary authorities which would provide for the conduct of provincial council (PC) elections under the old system of proportional representation without any delay if enacted.
He told the Daily Mirror he sought to amend the Provincial Council Elections Act so that polls could be conducted forthwith.
“The bill seeks to revert to the old system by repealing the Provincial Council Elections Act No. 17 of 2017. The elections cannot be put off,” he said.
When asked as to why such elections were sought at a time when the spotlight was on the presidential election, he said one election could not be postponed because another was scheduled.
The government enacted a law in 2017 to evolve a new electoral system which is a mix of the first past the post system and proportional representation for provincial councils. Later, a delimitation committee was appointed to make recommendations on new electoral boundaries. However, the report has not been approved by parliament. It has now resulted in an indefinite delay in the conduct of polls to eight out of the nine provincial councils.
The new bill presented by Mr. Sumanthiran seeks to break the gridlock by reverting to the old system. (Kelum Bandara)