PAFFREL asserts: LG Polls only in 2018 Amendments to two more Ordinances pending
Posted on September 2nd, 2017

By Skandha Gunasekara Courtesy Ceylon Today

People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) says because two more amendments to the Municipal Council Ordinance and the Urban Council Ordinance are pending, the Local Government elections will be delayed until next year.

Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi,……speaking to Ceylon Today said although the two amendments would be passed in Parliament without delay, the procedure would take too long to conduct elections in 2017.

On Tuesday (29) Cabinet approved amendments to the Municipal Council Ordinance and Urban Council Ordinance clause 5 and Local Government Act clause 4 to bring into effect the changes brought in last week’s Local Authority Elections (amendment) Bill.

These amendments must now be put before Parliament and passed by the House in order to conduct Local Government elections.

“Even if the amendments are passed in Parliament within a month, there are several other steps that need to be taken before elections could be held. The subject minister must first gazette the number of candidates before the Elections Commission can call for elections. My reading of the situation is that the elections could only be held somewhere during the second week of January,” Hettiarachchi said.

In addition, he asserted that the Government does not appear to want to hold elections in 2017.

“The Government’s actions in the last month have not shown any indication that they have a need or want to conduct elections this year,” Hettiarachchi said.

However, UNP MP and Deputy Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Ajith P. Perera told Ceylon Today that the Government expects to hold Local Government elections by 9 December 2017.

“These two amendments will be quickly passed in Parliament and once the nomination list is finalized on 30 September the Elections Commission can call for elections. We expect to have the elections on 9 December. The only obstacle might be the Ordinary Level Examination, which is usually held during the same period.”

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