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SLFP urge Govt. to conduct LG Polls

28 June 2022 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • EC has authority to hold LG polls on any day between Sept. 26 and March 20, 2023

By Sandun A Jayasekera

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) yesterday urged the Election Commission (EC) to conduct local government polls straightaway after the EC was empowered to hold LG polls after 25th of September.   

 General Secretary of the SLFP, former Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara added that the EC would get the authority to hold LG polls any time after September 25th of this year as per section 262 of the Local Authorities Ordinance – after the completion of six months following the extension of office by one year.  


“Therefore, the EC has the authority to hold LG polls on any day between September 26 of 2022 and March 20, 2023. The extension of the local government bodies by one year by the government expires on March 19th of 2023. Until the election is held, the EC must bring all the local government bodies under special commissioners to save nearly Rs.1,600 million paid annually as allowances to 8,691 councilors immediately after all local government bodies come under its purview,” Mr. Jayasekara told Daily Mirror yesterday.  
“President Gotabaya Rajapaksa continues to brag about a mandate of 6.9 million voters he received to take the country to further misery. A mandate of an estimated 17 million odd voters to be given at the forthcoming LG polls would give a clear picture about this boastful rhetoric. It will also decide the fate of the cursed Ranil- Gota regime,” he stressed.   


There was public outcry also over the massive amount of state funds spent to pay allowances to local government councillors at a time the government is in a severe economic crunch. Besides, the government has spent the budgetary allocations of local government bodies for other purposes under the prevailing financial constraints leaving local government bodies with no funds even for extremely essential services like solid waste disposal and purchasing of fuel for vehicles. This has made local government bodies inoperative and virtually defunct. Therefore, holding of local government polls as soon as possible is vital,” Mr. Jayasekara said.  


Gotabaya Rajapaksa – Ranil Wickremesinghe regime has suspended capital expenditure and diverted funds allocated for development projects for recurrent expenditure, he said.

  
 “Therefore, the dissolution of local government bodies by the EC in September and bringing them under special commissioners is the need of the hour. The SLFP demands the EC to bring all local government authorities under special commissioners to prevent wastage of government funds and hold local government polls sooner than later,” he stressed.  


Reportedly, the interim budget 2022 of Premier Wickremesinghe expected in a few weeks time has also not allocated funds for rural infrastructure development carried out by local government bodies, Mr. Jayasekara said.  
He said the SLFP was ready for any election at any time.

 

  • A mandate of an estimated 17 million odd voters to be given at the forthcoming LG polls would give a clear picture about this boastful rhetoric

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