Elections to 335 LG bodies in November

Published : 9:39 am  August 24, 2015 | No comments so far |  |  (457) reads | 

By Sandun A Jayasekera
The government is determined to hold elections to the now dissolved local government bodies in November, an authoritative government source  said yesterday.

Public Administration,  Local Government and Provincial Councils Secretary J. Dadallage told Daily  Mirror that President Maithripala Sirisena had on Friday signed the  gazette notification outlining the criteria for the Delimitation of  Local Government Bodies and it is expected to be released today paving the way for  local government elections under the new local government electoral system.

Mr.  Dadallage said the government had to hold such elections within six months of the release of the gazette notification and after the expiry of  the term of office of the remaining 25 local government bodies.   He said out of a total of 335 local government bodies, 210 were being administered by special commissioners after their term of office expired recently. The term of office of the some of the remaining Municipal  Councils, Pradeshiya Sabhas and the Urban Council will end on October 16 and the rest on October 31.

The Municipal Councils  of Dehiwala-Mt. Lavinia, Sri  Jayewardenepura, Kotte, Moratuwa, Negombo, Gampaha, Kurunegala, Kandy,  Matara, Nuwara-Eliya, Badulla, Galle, Matara, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura  and Kalmunai will end their term of office on October 16, 2015 while the Municipal Councils of Colombo and Hambantota; the Pradeshiya Sabhas of Kotikawatta-Mulleriyawa, Kundasale, Kadawath  Hatara-Gangawatakorale, Hambantota and Suriyawewa and that of the Kolonnawa Urban Council will end their term of office on October 31.

The final report of the national  delimitation committee appointed on the recommendation of the  Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms headed by Dinesh  Gunawardana  was handed over to former minister Karu Jayasuriya recently.
In the Colombo District, 252 members will be elected from single member wards, 56 from 28 two-member  wards and 21 from seven three-member wards. In the Badulla district, 197 out of a  total of 239 local government members will be elected from single  wards and 42 from 21 two-member seats. In the Batticaloa district, 140 local government members will be elected from single member  wards while six will be elected from two-member wards.    

“The main objective of the  new local government electoral system is to do away with the much  criticised Preferential Voting (PR) system and give the opportunity to  the voter to elect honest, educated and people-friendly members to their  local government bodies. Those who are elected must be prepared to provide a sincere service and earn the title of honourable members,” Mr. Dadallage said.
None of the local government or provincial council elections will he held on a staggered basis and all elections  will be held on a single day.

President Sirisena and Prime  Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have decided to fully concentrate on nation building and good governance and to work out a political  solution to the national question.