EC to clear legal ambiguities : LG bodies to be constituted on March 15 | Sunday Observer

EC to clear legal ambiguities : LG bodies to be constituted on March 15

The Election Commission (EC) is expected to cite other laws governing the Local Government (LG) authorities to clear legal ambiguities in constituting the new councils as scheduled next month.

Deputy Elections Commissioner M.M. Mohamed said they would refer to the clauses in the Municipal Council Ordinance, the Urban Council Ordinance and the Pradeshiya Sabha Act No.15 of 1987 to clear the legal hurdles in constituting the councils that may sometimes fall short of the 25% mandatory female representation, among other issues.

While the Elections Commission spelt out the practical difficulties in abiding by the 25% quota for women in the LG bodies at a media briefing last week, many civil society representatives and other interested groups who had been fighting for this right called upon the Commission not to dampen spirits.

The LG bodies for which the members were elected on February 10 under a new electoral system, is to be constituted on March 15. It was earlier scheduled for March 6.

The gazette notice to this effect is to be issued by the Provincial Councils and Local government Ministry shortly.

The Election Commission is expected to issue the letter to the political parties and independent groups announcing the number of candidates elected, the numbers to be appointed from the additional list and the number of female candidates, after February 20, the Deputy Commissioner said.

“We are currently doing the calculations and hope to finalise the lists soon,” he said.

The new electoral system which was a mix of the first-past-the-post and the proportional representation system has resulted in hung councils in nearly half of the 340 councils. The Commission said they will release the official figures shortly.

The elections were held in 340 councils out of 341. The election was not held in the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha in view of a court order.