Written by Tharushan Fernando
19 Jan, 2016 | 8:16 pm
Details of the upcoming local government elections were explained at a media briefing in Colombo on Tuesday.
A majority of the local government institutions in the country have been dissolved and they are now operating under the supervision of an appointed commissioner or a secretary.
Following the amendments that were made with regard to the local government elections, the 2016 Local Government Polls will be held under a “mixed system” which will include proportional representation.
The subject minister who took the issues surrounding delimitation into consideration, appointed an appeals committee headed by Asoka Peiris, in this regard. However, the committee report is yet to be made public. Several groups from the opposition claim that the Government in postponing the local government polls on purpose. Some aslo call for the elections to be held under the previous system.
Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government, Faiszer Mustapha, noted that the supreme court cannot change an act, and went on to announce to all the parties that the election will be held under the divisional system and therefore to prepare to face the election under such a system.
He added that some say that the local tovernment elections are postponed on purpose but no one can point the finger at the government or the president on this.
“Please do not think only of your political party. The country needs this change,” he said
State Minister of Finance, Laxman Yapa Abeywardena noted that the government is in no way prepared to step away from the divisional system in order to hold the elction, and if a politician calls for that system, it defines that he is thinking only about himself and not about the country
State Minister of Highways,Dilan Perera stated that the current electoral system for the local government elections was unanimously passed in parliament but this was postponed because there were issues with regard to the delimitation, and not because of the amendments to the act
Chairman of the National Delimitation Committee on Local Government Councils, Asoka Peiris noted that a gazette will be published by the end of April, and report will have to be submitted by April 10, to the minster, following which the ministry will hand it over to the president
When questioned regarding the time period during which the elections might be held, the Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government, Faiszer Mustapha stated that they will be held as soon as possible, hopefully by June.
“We have a period of 56 days starting today. This lies with the elections commissioner. He will hold the elections as soon as possible, ” he said.
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