PC election to be held no later than April 2019
By Maheesha Mudugamuwa
The Provincial Councils election, which the government promised to hold in January next year, is now expected to be held in April, Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister Faiszer Musthapha said.
Minister Musthapha told reporters today that holding the Provincial Council elections was beyond his authority and it would be decided by the five member committee appointed by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to examine the Delimitation Committee Report for the Delimitation of Electorates in Provincial Councils.
The report was rejected by the parliament last week.
The committee would be presided over by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Minister told the media in Colombo today.
The Minister said the report which would be examined by the committee would not be re-submitted to parliament. The report would then be submitted to President Maithripala Sirisena and he would gazette it and it would become then it would become the law, he added.
The committee should include the amendments within two months and if the report would be submitted to the President after the expiration of two months period, the elections could be held before next April, Minister Musthapha said adding that he had no authority to intervene the delimitation process under the amendments made to the Provincial Councils Elections Law by Act No: 17 of 2017.
Asked whether the government was trying to delay the Provincial Councils elections under the guise of delimitation report as claimed by the opposition, Minister Musthapha said the government was ready to hold the election and the President would gazette the report soon after the committee led by PM Wickremesinghe hand over the report.
“The committee has no mandate to decide on which system the election should be held. The committee could only amend the report;” he said adding that if the parliament decides with majority to go ahead with the old system, then the election could be held under the old system.
Picture by Pradeep Dambarage