Elections to be postponed?

The parliamentary election scheduled for 20 June is likely to be postponed further as more time is needed for preparations than usual, due to the Covid-19 situation in the country, The Morning learnt.

A senior official of the Election Secretariat told The Morning that as per the Quarantine Act, there were measures
the election officials had to follow while preparing for the election, unlike previous elections and therefore, the
entire process was consuming much more time than usual.

However, as told by Election Commission (EC) member Prof. S. Ratnajeevan Hoole, the preferential numbers should be issued prior to 15 March so as to hold the parliamentary election on 20 June as scheduled, as the political parties should be given a minimum of 35 days for their campaigns.

This was denied by the senior official, who wished to remain anonymous, claiming that there was no such provision
mentioned in the Parliamentary Elections Act. However, the Election Secretariat had practised it since the acts
relating to other elections have specified a minimum time period.

However, the EC had not yet decided on a date to issue preferential numbers for the candidates for the upcoming parliamentary election.

He stressed that candidates and voters were equally entitled to publicise their campaigns and to know the policies of
political parties, respectively, prior to the election.
By Maheesha Mudugamuwa