PC elections will not be postponed – Faizser | Sunday Observer

PC elections will not be postponed – Faizser

Amendments to the Provincial Council Election Act No. 02 of 1988 should be brought about to facilitate the holding all PC elections on a specified date and that there is no question of postponing the Provincial Council (PC) elections, Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister Faiszer Musthapha said.

However, Parliament will have to decide whether these constitutional amendments are needed or not. The Government is of the view that the elections should not be held on a staggered basis and there is great opposition to that, the Minister told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

He said the Government is also working to see that Local Government, Provincial Council and Parliamentary elections should be held under the new mixed electoral system.

“The sole purpose of having PC elections on the same day is that there is public criticism of using a huge amount of public funds. Second, various allegations have been levelled that holding PC elections on a staggered basis has weakened the Opposition and they have to continuously get ready for elections and it is not democratic,” the Minister said.

Minister Musthapha said the Cabinet has already granted approval to amend the Provincial Council Election Act and that it has to be gazetted and debate in Parliament. The Parliament will have to decide whether these amendments are required or not. After that, elections to all PCs will have to be held on a particular date.

The tenure of some PCs will end this year, while some PCs have been extended up to 2018 and 2019. What the Government wants to do is to facilitate that all elections will be held on one particular date.

The Government is against the habit of having elections on a staggered basis. There have been allegations that the entire state machinery is used when a Provincial Council election is held for one particular province. Actually, the Cabinet of Ministers don’t think there is a need for a referendum to postpone PC elections, he said.

The Minister said certain steps need to be taken when the Provincial Council Election Act is changed.

The Party Leaders will have to decide and there is a Steering Committee for that. So all those processes are beyond my ambit and at the end of it, the Parliament will decide what system is going to be carried forward for all elections. Hopefully, the Government will hold the PC elections under the proposed new system, he said.