Elections to cost billions this year | Sunday Observer

Elections to cost billions this year

The Presidential Election to be held in December will cost the Government Rs. 4 billion this year and the amount will be double if the PC election is to be held later.

Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said the process of holding the election, inclusive of staff training and refurbishing of schools and temples used as polling centres will cost the Government Rs.4,000 million this year. The Local Government election in February 2018 will cost the Treasury over Rs.3.6 billion.

However, the Chairman said if the Presidential and the Provincial council elections can be held close on the heels of each other, the cost for both elections can be reduced to Rs. 6 billion.”We don’t have to repeat staff training. Other logistical expenses can also be minimised if both elections can be held close to each other,” he told the Sunday Observer.

Asked whether Provincial Council and Presidential elections can be held together, he replied in the negative, adding that the two elections involve completely different processes. He said it is not probable even if two ballot papers were administered at the time of casting vote.

According to party sources, none of the major political parties are in favour of holding the PC elections before the Presidential polls since there is a notion that the allocation of provincial seats which is always a matter of in-fight might sway the support of back-benchers in the party during a crucial Presidential Election.

The Election Commission also said that the postponement of any election after testing people’s will in a referendum is against democracy, as it will only reflect the will of the majority people and not the minority.