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Party leaders to deliberate: Fresh proposal on polls to Cabinet next week

The Cabinet has instructed that the party leaders are to deliberate on the method of holding the upcoming provincial council (PC) elections, Government Spokesperson and Minister of Mass Media Keheliya Rambukwella stated.

During yesterday’s (15) cabinet media briefing, Rambukwella said that the proposal on holding PC elections at the earliest convenience was presented to the Cabinet of Ministers on Monday (14), by Minister of Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government Janaka Bandara Tennakoon.

“We discussed at length about the PC elections and the impact it has due to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Dinesh Gunawardena headed a parliamentary subcommittee to study the feasibility of amending the polling structure and to change the way we hold elections, yet a final decision was not arrived at, due to various concerns,” Rambukwella explained.

He also reiterated that the Yahapalana Government too could not arrive at a firm decision and decided to postpone the PC elections. As a result, many of the PCs have been in a dissolved state for close to two years.

“At the end of the discussion, the Cabinet agreed that the political party leaders should further deliberate on the manner in which the upcoming PC elections are to be held and a fresh proposal is to be made to the Cabinet by next week,” Rambukwella elaborated.

Once the party leaders present their proposal on PC elections, the Cabinet of Ministers will once again deliberate on the matter, after which they would arrive at a decision on whether the election would be held according to the old election system or the proposed new electoral system where new wards are to be demarcated by the Delimitation Commission prior to the election. 

The incumbent Government will also have to look into the issues that will be raised through the Delimitation Commission report and address them before a date for the election is set.