Polls date only after Supreme Court decision

Election Commission (EC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said the date for the next parliamentary election would be announced after the Supreme Court’s (SC) decision on the ongoing fundamental rights (FR) petitions filed by several parties.

The FR petitions have been filed in the SC requesting the court to issue an injunction on the decision taken by the President to dissolve Parliament and hold the general election on 20 June.

Deshapriya told The Sunday Morning that the decision on the date would be taken after discussions with commission members as well as officials of the Election Secretariat, including the Director General of Elections. As he noted, the EC would wait until the ongoing cases at the SC are over.

Saliya Pieris PC, appearing for the EC, informed the SC that the election cannot be held on 20 June.

Pieris also informed the court that a general election can only be held about 10 weeks after the health authorities give a safety green light and there could be other factors that could make the holding of an election even a little longer than usual.

Initially, the elections were to be held on 25 April. However, on 20 April, the EC, issuing a special gazette notification, decided to postpone the election to 20 June.