Amendment to PC Polls Act to Cabinet | Sunday Observer

Amendment to PC Polls Act to Cabinet

Proposed amendments to the Provincial Council Elections Act to clear existing technical issues will be presented to the Cabinet for approval this week, Provincial Council and Local Government Ministry Legal Officer Gayani Premathilake told the Sunday Observer.

Unlike in the past where a new Act was made operational on a future date specified, the new PC Elections Law came into operation immediately.

“This process too needs at least another month,” the legal advisor said, explaining that a Bill to amend the ‘date of operation’ will first go to Cabinet and then to Legal Draftsman, Attorney General and back to the Cabinet again before it can finally go to parliament.

JVP MP Vijitha Herath said, the government must stop dilly-dallying with the new PC elections law and try to clear all hurdles and elect members to the expired councils immediately.

He said holding the elections under the old system is an option if the review committee process was taking long.

“We see the current situation as a strategy by the two main factions of the government, the SLFP and the UNP to delay the election,” he accused refuting claims the delimitation report was flawed beyond redemption. “Issues can be resolved soon, if the will is there,” he said.

Minister Faiszer Musthpha however, said, “There was no question of returning to the old preferential system, which was rejected by the people.”

Polls observers CMEV and the PAFFREL too voiced that the polls need to be held as soon as possible even if it meant reverting to the old system.

Three PCs ended their terms in September 2017 while North Western and Central PCs expired their terms early this month. The Northern PC is to end its term on October 24. The functions of the expired PCs are vested with the respective Governors.

The Southern and Western Provincial Councils are to end their terms in April next year while the term of the Uva PC will expire in September next year.