DID ELECTIONS COMMISSION AND FORMER SPEAKER DISREGARD THE CONSTITUTION AND COURT DETERMINATIONS?
Posted on June 2nd, 2020

By M D P DISSANAYAKE

19 AMENDMENT:

In regard to the passage of the 19 Amendment  to the Constitution  of Sri Lanka there are still key questions lingering.  The highest Court of the Island in its determinations made it abundantly clear that the proposed changes need to go before a Referendum.    But the government of Ranil Wickremasinghe and TNA used back-door tactics to pass it on the floor of the House.   The  former Speaker Mr Karu Jayasuriya gave his stamp of approval to make it into law.

Did speaker ignore the  court determinations?  From where did he derive the Constitutional power to do so?

GENERAL ELECTION:

The current Election Commission has repeatedly failed to conduct the elections on time.   For the past four and half years, they have been paid their salaries and emoluments in full by the State.  They were employed for the sole and exclusive purpose of organising and  the conducting elections at the appropriate time, as an Independent Institution.

In most recent situations, the Elections Commission  on 19 March, 2020  postponed the elections date without announcing an alternative date.

On 3 April, the Election Commission took an unusual and unwarranted action of writing to the President of Sri Lanka, recommending him to seek Supreme Court advise  to seek an alternative date or MAKE ALTERNATIVE.  ( It is presumed  MAKE ALTERNATIVE” meaning recalling the old Parliament!).  After the EC was told by the Presidential Secretariat to do his job as per its mandate, few days later the EC, on its own, fixed 20 June as the new date.

It is interesting that Mr Sumanthiran sought an injunction from the Supreme Court to issue a restraining order on the EC to refrain from issuing preferential numbers for the candidates.   The Court disallowed the application and took the position that the EC is free to make a decision.

The EC on this matter had two options: 1. To take necessary steps to continue administrative matters to conduct the election.  2. To delay taking any further actions until the final determinations by the Court.

The EC took the second option.  Did EC jump the Gun or shot itself in the foot?

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