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Hold PC, Presidential Polls on one day-PAFFREL urges top 3 citizens

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31 July 2019 12:01 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Sandun A Jayasekera

Prominent elections monitoring NGO, Peoples Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) yesterday urged the President, Prime Minister and the Speaker to take steps to amend the Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Act or bring forward the day on which the current electoral law was enacted to pave the way to hold the Provincial Council (PC) and Presidential polls on a single day.   


Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi, in a letter written to the three top leaders of the country, pointed out that eight out of nine Provincial Councils, except Uva, are currently run under a governor’s purview. The tenure of the Uva Provincial Council is also scheduled to expire in October. However, the delimitation process required to hold the PC polls under the new electoral system has not been concluded upto now.   


A Presidential election has to be conducted before December 9. “It is essential that the PC and the Presidential election be held on a single day. If the Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Act is amended or the day on which the current electoral law is enacted is brought forward, it could pave the way for PC polls before the Presidential election. It will mean a saving of a minimum of Rs. 200 million for the government.   


Holding two major elections close to each other will not only be detrimental to the process of obtaining the independent view of the voter but will also create an un-natural wave of voters’ opinion which is not good for a functioning democracy,” Mr. Hettiarachchi said in his letter. Another negative factor when holding two main elections within a few months of each other is that politicians across the divide would dedicate their time and energy towards election propaganda, neglecting essential public duties which will affect the country’s day to day activities and development work as well, he added.   


Therefore, we urge the three of you to make arrangements to introduce the necessary electoral amendments in Parliament to hold these two major elections on a single day, Mr Hettiarachchi further stressed.   


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