PC POLLS A GORDIAN KNOT -EC

NO WAY TO HOLD PC ELEC­TIONS BE­FORE APRIL SAYS EC CHAIR­MAN ELEC­TIONS ARE AL­READY OVER­DUE FOR THE NORTH-WESTERN, CEN­TRAL, NORTH-CEN­TRAL, NORTH­ERN, EAST­ERN AND THE SABARAGAMUWA PROVIN­CIAL COUN­CILS AT THE MO­MENT

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - FRONT PAGE - BY KELUM BAN­DARA

The Elec­tions Com­mis­sion yes­ter­day ruled out the pos­si­bil­ity of con­duct­ing the Provin­cial Coun­cil Elec­tions be­fore April this year, even if the ex­ist­ing le­gal bar­ri­ers were cleared forth­with.

Elec­tions Com­mis­sion Chair­man Mahinda De­shapriya told the Daily Mir­ror that his of­fice held talks re­cently with the main po­lit­i­cal par­ties re­gard­ing the elec­tions to six Provin­cial Coun­cils. The elec­tions are al­ready over­due for the North­West­ern, Cen­tral, North-cen­tral, North­ern, East­ern and the Sabaragamuwa Provin­cial Coun­cils at the mo­ment.

“The Com­mis­sion faces a le­gal bar­rier in call­ing for elec­tions be­cause the de­lim­i­ta­tion work on new elec­torates has not been com­pleted to con­duct the polls un­der the Mixed Mem­ber Pro­por­tional (MMP) sys­tem which was in­tro­duced newly,” he said.

At a re­cent meet­ing with the po­lit­i­cal par­ties, the Com­mis­sioner dis­cussed the op­tions that could be taken to pro­ceed with the con­duct of polls.

“All the par­ties are keen to go for polls. But, who is go­ing to bell the cat? Who is go­ing to cut the Gordian Knot?” asked Mr De­shapriya.

He said the par­ties dis­cussed the pos­si­bil­ity of re­vert­ing to the pre­vi­ous sys­tem of Pro­por­tional Rep­re­sen­ta­tion for the con­duct of polls through the en­act­ment of fresh leg­is­la­tion in Par­lia­ment.

“If that is done even to­day, we will not be able to con­duct elec­tions be­fore April. We need

at least ten weeks to pre­pare,” he said. The main par­ties- the UNP, the SLFP, the SLPP, the ITAC, the JVP- sent in their rep­re­sen­ta­tives to the meet­ing.

JVP rep­re­sen­ta­tive Su­nil Wata­gala told the Daily Mir­ror the UNP and the SLPP agreed to go for polls even un­der the old sys­tem, but the SLFP had

reser­va­tions about it.

SLPP rep­re­sen­ta­tive for­mer Min­is­ter Basil Ra­japaksa asked the Elec­tions Com­mis­sion to in­sti­tute le­gal ac­tion against the de­lay in the con­duct of elec­tions.

How­ever, the Com­mis­sion did not agree to it.

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