PC polls postponed

Published : 8:40 am  July 26, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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New electoral system in the pipeline  

By Kelum Bandara 
The government yesterday decided to postpone the provincial council elections which were due to be held this year, until a new electoral system was worked out to conduct polls for the nine PCs on the same day.   

Elections were to have been held for the North-Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provincial Councils this year when their terms ended on October 1.   


The Cabinet approved a memorandum reported to have been submitted by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe seeking to conduct the elections to all nine Provincial Councils on the same day, under a new system which included a mix of the first-past-the-post system and the proportional representation system. As such the current law governing the PC elections would have to be amended to make way for the new system according to which 60 per cent of members would be elected on the FPP and 40 per cent on the PR systems. The new bill, giving effect to these changes, is to be presented in Parliament soon.   
A mix system has been introduced for local government elections and the government is of the view that the elections to the local authorities, already overdue by two years, should be held first to check how the mixed system worked in practice.


The government took this decision amid allegations by the joint opposition that attempts were being made to postpone elections by the government fearing defeat. The JO insists that the elections, due this year, should be conducted as scheduled.