The Elections Commission (EC) was determined to announce the presidential poll in mid-October and hold the election between November 9 and December 9, its Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said.
“According to the Constitution, the presidential poll has to be held one month prior to the expiry of office of the incumbent President. The Constitution also says the election has to be announced at a minimum of 15 days prior to the nomination day,” he told Daily Mirror.
“The Elections Commission is not bound to consult the legislature, executive or the government on matters related to the presidential election. Therefore, the Elections Commission expects to enjoy the full independence and transparency in declaring the presidential poll and other functions related to it,” he said.
However, he said the Elections Commission had to address a number of strategic issues in the middle of October before declaring nomination and election days and the duration of the election campaign. The presidential poll cannot be conducted on a government holiday.
Commenting on the security situation in the country, he said the presidential election could not be postponed whether or not there was emergency declared and that there was a Supreme Court ruling to this effect. “If anyone attempts to postpone the election, it will not only be a crime but a violation of the right to franchise of over 15 million voters. In the past, elections have been held while emergency was declared,” he said. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)