Written by Staff Writer
04 Oct, 2018 | 2:53 am
Colombo (News1st): The terms of six provincial councils are set to expire by the end of this month.To date, there are five provincial councils that have ended its terms and currently under the control of governors.
The end dates of the official terms of the councils are as follow;
The committee appointed under the patronage of the prime minister has requested an additional two month period, for the preparation of the evaluation report.
Minister of Sports and Local Government and Provincial Councils Faiszer Mustapha making a statement in this regard said a committee has been appointed headed by the Prime Minister to review delimitation activities and the committee will publish a report which will be closely reviewed and handed over to the president.
He added that after it is gazetted, elections will be held and even though he is the Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government, according to the elections act, the delimitation activities are to be reviewed by a five-member committee headed by the Prime Minister.
Minster of Health (Dr.) Rajitha Senaratne said apart from the SLFP, all other parties had expressed willingness to hold the next elections under the previous system. However, he said according to the government’s policies, they accept the mixed voting system and the president had stated that since the SLFP and the UNP are of two views, they must get the ruling parties to hold one stance and to discuss it.
The leader of the House of Parliament Minister Lakshman Kiriella added that this topic was discussed by the cabinet yesterday (October 2) and apart from one party, the rest of the cabinet propose that elections should be held based on a ratio basis. He added that if this is accepted, elections can be held within three to four months.
Disfunctional Constitutional Council
The 19th Amendment to the Constitution reinstated the Constitutional Council to strengthen democratic governance and limit its executive powers. The approval of the Constitutional Council is vital for the appointment of Supreme Court judges, including the Chief Justice and the President of the Court of Appeal. The council also appoints persons to positions such as Attorney General, Inspector General of Police, Auditor General, Chairpersons and members of the Independent Commissions.
Currently, it is only the Speaker of Parliament, the Prime Minister, the leader of the Opposition and a Presidential representative active in the council, while six positions remain vacant. These vacant positions must be filled by two ministers, three civil society representatives, and a representative from a minor party, who will be appointed by the prime minister and leader of the opposition. Due to the lack of members, the Constitutional Council is unable to conduct meetings.
During the Cabinet media briefing held today journalists questioned about the delay in appointing the Constitutional Council. Responding to this question Minister Rajitha Senaratne noted the Constitutional Council will be appointed as soon as possible.
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