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Sunday, 16 June 2013

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Northern PC polls:

Opposition politicians should wait for gazette proclamation

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya on Friday told a group of Opposition politicians that he cannot heed any of their requests until President Mahinda Rajapaksa proclaims the Northern Provincial elections through gazette notification. The Sunday Observer reliably understands that the proclamation is due on June 24.

From June 24 midnight the Central and North Western Provincial Councils would stand dissolved. It would also be the first PC election to the North.

UNP General Secretary parliamentarian Tissa Attanayake, Democratic People’s Front leader and Colombo MMC Mano Ganeshan, NSSP leader Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne, TNA General Secretary Mavai Senathirajah and UNP parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake were associated with the Opposition group.

The TNA called for the re-introduction of the Independent Election Commission and the Independent Police Commission abolished through the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. The Tamil party wants a civilian as the Governor for the North instead of Major General G.A. Chandrasiri, an ex-army officer.

However, the Elections Commissioner said these were matters for the Government to consider and advised the Opposition group to speak to the relevant authorities.

However, on a request to bring down Commonwealth and European Union monitors to oversee the conduct of elections Deshapriya said that these were within his purview and could be considered after another round of talks with concerned political parties.

Opposition political parties told the Commissioner that they were aware that the latter has no power over the 18th Amendment and the removal of the Governor but they brought up this matter to convey their sentiments to the government.

The Elections Commissioner would call for nominations one week after the proclamation of elections to the three PCs.

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