The Elections Commission ruled out yesterday the possibility to conduct the Provincial Council Elections before April this year, even if the existing legal barriers were cleared forthwith.
Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya told the Daily Mirror that his office held talks recently with main political parties regarding the elections to six Provincial Councils.
The elections are already overdue for the North-Western, Central, North-Central, Northern, Eastern and the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils at the moment.
“The Commission faces a legal barrier in calling for elections because the delimitation work on new electorates has not been completed to conduct the polls under the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system which was introduced newly,” he said.
At a recent meeting with the political parties, the Commissioner discussed the options that could be taken to proceed with the conduct of polls.
“All the parties are keen to go for polls. But, who is going to bell the cat? Who is going to cut the Gordian Knot?” asked Mr Deshapriya.
He said the parties discussed the possibility of reverting to the previous system of Proportional Representation for the conduct of polls through the enactment of fresh legislation in Parliament.
“If that is done even today, we will not be able to conduct elections before April. We need at least ten weeks to prepare,” he said.
The main parties- the UNP, the SLFP, the SLPP, the ITAC, the JVP- sent in their representatives to the meeting.
JVP representative Sunil Watagala told the Daily Mirror the UNP and the SLPP agreed to go for polls even under the old system, but the SLFP had reservations about it.
SLPP representative former Minister Basil Rajapaksa asked the Elections Commission to institute legal action against the delay in the conduct of elections.
However, the Commission did not agree to it.( Kelum Bandara)