Prof. G.L. Peiris to seek a writ of Mandamus against Election Commission
Posted on July 31st, 2018

RAVI LADDUWAHETTY Courtesy Ceylon Today

Chairman of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Prof. G.L. Peiris will seek a Writ of Mandamus in the Supreme Court, against the Election Commission and its Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, ordering them to discharge their Constitutional duties by holding the Provincial Council Elections.

I will be filing the application when the Supreme Court meets again at the end of August,” Prof. Peiris told a news conference at Nelum Mawatha, Battaramulla yesterday (30).

He also said that there was an ‘unholy trio’ which was holding back the Provincial Council Elections. The first is Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the second is Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and the third is Opposition Leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan, who, he alleged, were acting in collusion to postpone the Provincial Council Polls indefinitely.

He said the Premier had said that the Provincial Council Polls would be held immediately prior to the Presidential Poll in 2019, while Jayasuriya has been in …breach of his duties and Sampanthan has said that the Provincial Council Elections should not be held until the new Constitution was enacted, which is a preposterous situation and it would be like waiting for ‘Godot’ as that will never happen, he said.

Jayasuriya was in breach of his duties to have the related debate,” he added.

Continuing, Prof. Peiris said: ”As we speak here, three Provincial Councils, namely Sabaragamuwa, North Central and Eastern have been defunct for the last 10 months and there will be three more, namely of the Northern, Central and North Western Provinces, which will also be defunct in October.

In this context, we have a letter from Deshapriya to say that he is powerless to do anything until the Parliament acts. This is completely incorrect and is not the law. The elections are set out under the Interpretations Ordinance and the electoral system is set out in the Provincial Councils Act of 1988. Then the Parliament enacted the Provincial Councils Amendment Act, No. 17 of 2017. However, that legislative process was not completed. That was not an oversight or negligence, but it was a deliberate effort of a fraudulent legislative scheme,” he alleged.

The mechanics of the relevant Section of the Interpretations Ordinance is that until the new law becomes operative, the old law continues to apply, Prof. Peiris explained.

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