LG polls before March 15, gazette calling for nominations to be issued tomorrow: EC

The much awaited gazette notification calling nominations for the Local Government (LG) polls will be issued tomorrow (4) and nominations will be accepted at District level on January 19th, a top official of the Election Commission (EC) confirmed yesterday

EC Chairman S.G. Punchihewa told Daily Mirror that LG polls would be held before March 15 making way to establish 340 LG bodies by March 19.

The District Secretaries acting as District Returning Officers (DROs) will issue the gazette at 25 districts giving the date to accept nominations tomorrow.

“We have instructed the District Secretaries who will act as DROs to issue the gazette notification marking the date and venues to accept nominations when the EC informed them.

Accordingly, DROs of the 25 districts will issue the relevant gazette and declare the day of election after the conclusion of acceptance of nominations,” Mr. Punchihewa said.

Dismissing speculations that the LG polls will cost Rs. 10 billion or more, Mr. Punchihewa said the EC would make all efforts to restrict the cost under Rs. 8 billion and added that the number of election officials would be less than 200,000.

Candidates from political parties and independent groups are vying for 8,711 slots in 340 LG bodies except the Elpitiya PS. The LG polls will be held 60% under the first past the post system and 40% under the Proportional Representation (PR) system, Mr. Punchihewa added.

The political parties and independent groups must include 25% women in the nomination list and also give the opportunity for 30% representation to the youth but it is not compulsory as the relevant law has not been passed as yet.

The total number of registered voters eligible to vote in the electoral register of 2022 is 166, 92, 398.

Asked about the security arrangements, Mr. Punchihewa said the DROs have been instructed to arrange the election related security at district level in consultation and cooperation with the police and the armed forces. (Sandun A Jayasekera)

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