Gazette notification on LG polls signed

Published : 9:10 am  November 2, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 

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Untitled-1By Sandun A Jayasekera

The gazette notification that requires to conduct much delayed Local Government polls under the new electoral system was signed yesterday (01) by Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Faizer Musthapha and sent to the Government Printer immediately.   

 

The signing and the issuance of the gazette will remove the final blockade that delayed the conducting of local government polls in January 2018. 

 
Addressing the media, after signing the gazette at his Ministry, Minister Musthapha said he expected that the Elections Commission had ample time to hold the polls in January 2018.   


The Minister will also have to rectify a bureaucratic blunder made during the translation of the Local Government Election (Amendment) Bill which was passed in August 25, this year but it will not affect the polls.   


“The Sinhala translation says the 25% is not mandatory if and when a political party draws less than 20% votes and less than 3 members in an election which is not correct. I will submit a Cabinet paper to correct the wrong interpretation and it will not affect the holding of the election,” he added.   

 

LG bodies will be increased to 341 from 335 and the number of wards to 8,300 from 4,841 including the mandatory requirement of 25% women representation at each and every local government body  

 


“My Ministry faces another problem with the expansion of the composition of members in a large number of local government bodies at this election. I expect to obtain Cabinet approval for extra funds to expand the existing meeting hall facilities or build new meeting halls before the polls,” Minister Musthapha noted.   


At the forthcoming local government polls, the number of local government bodies will be increased to 341 from 335 and the number of wards to 8,300 from 4,841 including the mandatory requirement of 25% women representation at each and every local government body.   


Under the new electoral system, the Polonnaruwa Pradeshiya Sabha will be divided into two local bodies as Polonnaruwa Municipal Council and Polonnaruwa Pradeshiya Sabha. Thamanakaduwa Pradeshiya Sabha will also be divided into two in the same way and Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha in Nuwara Eliya will be divided into to three Pradeshiya Sabhas in Ambagamuwa, Maskeliya and Norwood.   


Nuwara – Eliya Pradeshiya Sabha will also be divided into three as Nuwara-Eliya Pradeshiya Sabha, Kotagala Pradeshiya Sabha and Agarapatana Pradeshiya Sabha.   


“I have prepared the pitch and the ball is in Elections Commission’s court. It is up to the Elections Commission now to set the date for the match. The amendments have now been gazetted clearing the way for polls in January,” Minister Musthapha stressed.   


Responding to a question, Minister Musthapha said local government bodies at Ambagamuwa, Nuwara Eliya, Polonnaruwa and Thamankaduwa had to be expanded due to their demographical expansion.   


All those local government bodies have over a population of 200,000 necessitating the broad basing of local government administration, he added.   


“There were demands from political parties in the East to divide Samanthurai Pradeshiya Sabha in Kalmunai to four. Even the Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has promised to the SLMC and TNA to do it. But it needs more time and further amendments to the Local Government Electoral Act which will take few more years and we decided not to go ahead with this proposal,” Minister Musthapha stressed.   

 

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