PC polls in peril | Sunday Observer

PC polls in peril

The Provincial Council (PC) elections could be postponed indefinitely unless the Speaker appoints a review committee on the de-limitation report as mandated by the new Provincial Councils election law within the coming weeks, National Election Commission sources said yesterday.

The Provincial Councils Election Amendment Act No.17 of 2017 dictates that the delimitation report must be tabled in Parliament with a two thirds majority within two weeks of its submission by the delimitation committee, failing which a review committee must be appointed within two months.

The delimitation report was completed and handed over to the Minister on February 19. The Minister tabled the report in Parliament on March 6.

According to the law, if the report is not passed with a two thirds majority by parliament within one month of being tabled - it will have to be referred to a review committee appointed by the Speaker.

The Elections Commission sources said since the time to debate the report in Parliament has already lapsed, the Speaker has to now appoint a five member review committee under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister.

“It is unlikely that a review committee can be appointed on time due to the prorogation of parliament, therefore holding of the Provincial Councils election hangs in the balance,” the source explained.

Under the new provincial councils elections law a total of 437 members are to be appointed, of which 222 will be elected under wards and 215 will be appointed from the list. The total number of PC members were not altered under the new Act.

Meanwhile, a stakeholder conference was organized by Election observers PAFFREL and CMEV at Waters Edge last week to discuss the obstacles and find means to hold the PC elections on schedule. At the end of the conference, attended by the party representatives and National Election Commission officials the stake holders agreed to appoint a committee to come up with recommendations to achieve this goal. The Committee is expected to submit a report within six weeks.