The Elections Commission is in the process of exploring the legal possibility of conducting the Elections for the Provincial Councils under the old (PR) system as the newly enacted legislation is not yet operational, it is learnt.
The Government enacted a piece of legislation last year to introduce a formula of the First Past the Post (FPP) System and Proportional Representation (PR) to conduct the elections to the Provincial Councils.
The Delimitation Committee was appointed to submit a report on the creation of new boundaries of constituencies. The report is yet to be approved in Parliament. As such, the new law is not yet operational in the country.
Against this backdrop, some political parties, such as the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) raised the point that the elections to the Provincial Councils could be conducted under the old system of Proportional Representation as the new law was not in effect yet.
They pointed out to the Elections Commission that the provisions for the Interpretation Ordinance provided for it
The Daily Mirror learns that the legal division of the Elections Commission was studying the legal provisions along with all the court rulings related to the conduct of elections to see whether the elections could be conducted.
Meanwhile, the Elections Commission made a fresh request to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and other political leaders in writing last week requesting them to create the legal background for conducting the elections for the PCs.
According to sources, the Commission would wait until action was taken by Parliament to clear legal barriers to proceeding with the elections as promised by the Speaker on the previous occasion.
Besides, the report of the Delimitation Committee will be taken up for debate and put to vote on Thursday (23). It has to be passed with a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
Asked about the Government’s position on the report, Leader of the House Minister Lakshman Kiriella said it would be taken only on Thursday, August 23.
The elections to three Provincial Councils are already overdue. In addition, three more councils will stand dissolved by October, this year.(Kelum Bandara)