PC polls could be held in January

Published : 9:02 am  September 13, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Sandun A Jayasekera

Provincial Councils, Local Government and Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapha reiterated that he did not see any reason as to why the PC polls could not be held in early, 2019 as speculated by Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya, because the five-member committee chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was mandated to review the delimitation and hand over the report to President Maithripala Sirisena in two months.
Minister Mustapha told the Daily Mirror yesterday that President Sirisena should Gazette the report immediately after he received it from Prime Minister Wickremesinghe giving ample time for the Elections Commission to hold Provincial Council elections for six PCs.

“It is not necessary to get the Parliamentary approval for the report. Therefore, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe is required to hand over the five-member committee report with their recommendations on or before the end of October as the committee was appointed by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on August 28,” he said.

Other members of the committee are R.M.L. Ratnayake, Periyasami Muthulingam, Prof. Balasundaranmpillai and Dr A.S.M. Naufel.

If and when President Sirisena gazettes the report in late October or early November, The Elections Commission will be in a position to hold PC polls in late January or early February.

Meanwhile, the leading elections monitoring NGO, Peoples Action for Free and Fair Elections (PFFREL) and several other social and professional organizations in communiqué expressed their concern that it was doubtful whether the majority of the people’s representatives did fulfil their responsibility.

“It does not seem that most of them conduct themselves in a manner conducive to safeguarding the respect of the people whom they represent. Besides, it is a serious drawback that we do not have a system to assess, recognize and encourage those representatives that perform their responsibilities well and truly, the communiqué lamented.

“The elected members are expected to be mindful of the present and the future conditions of the country, adopt a far-sighted vision and work for the benefit of the citizens whom they represent. There is one member for every 2,170 people. A very high average indeed!” it said.