Gazette issued calling for deposits to 248 LG bodies

Published : 1:00 am  December 5, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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Gazette issued earlier for deposits to 93 LG bodies



By Sandun A Jayasekera

   The Elections Commission (EC) yesterday issued the gazette notification to accept deposits from political parties and independent groups for the remaining 248 local government bodies until 12.00 noon on December 20. However, EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya declined to announce the date of the election saying that it was up to the Returning Officers of each district to do so after the close of nominations.   

The EC had earlier issued a gazette notice calling for deposits for 93 local government bodies in the wake of the Court of Appeal stay order.   

The petitioners were later allowed to to withdraw their petitions enabling the EC to hold elections to the balance 248 LG bodies as well.   

Mr. Deshapriya told the media that this was the biggest ever election to be held in the country other than a general or presidential election. The entire exercise will cost between Rs.3,500 million Rs.4,500 million and was likely to be held between February 3 and 17.   


The petitions were later withdrawn enabling polls to the balance 248 LG bodies as wel

“I am fed up with the speculation about the election date and as such I sometimes feel like holding it on a weekday. I am aware that it is convenient for schools, public and private sector employees, police, armed forces and some 300,000 public servants involved in election duties if the polls are held on a Saturday. But there is no law to prevent the EC from holding the elections on a week day,” he said.   

Mr. Deshapriya said the EC had issued strict instructions to political parties not to engage in any political or election related activities that would affect the GCE O/L examination to be held from December 12 to 21.   

Nominations will be received in two stages — the first from December 11 to 12.00 noon on December 14 for 93 local bodies and the second from December 18 to 12.00 noon on December 21 for the remaining 248 local bodies.   
“Candidates, political parties and the police must ensure that election related posters, cutouts, floats, rallies, meetings or any other form of election propaganda will not affect the GCE examination. The transfer of public servants and police personnel has also been suspended until the conclusion of the elections,” the EC Chief said.   

The use of State resources has been strictly prohibited for political or election related activities. 

Giving special instructions to the media, Mr. Deshapriya said the print and electronic media institutions must be extra vigilant and responsible not to promote or give undue publicity to any candidate, political party or group during the campaign period and the guidelines issued to all media institutions and journalists by the EC must be strictly followed. The EC will re-issue the guidelines to all media institutions and media personnel to be followed during the election period.   

He appealed to religious leaders not to use temples, churches, kovils and mosques for election related activities and not to bow down to politicians or political parties should they request for places of religious worship for election related activities.  In response to the Daily Mirror, Mr. Deshapriya declined to blame any politician, minister or official for the delay in the conducting LG elections.