PC polls amendment to be finalised this week

A final decision on the amendment proposed to the Provincial Councils (PCs) Elections Act No. 2 of 1988 would be reached this week, a major step in the process towards scheduling the election, The Morning learnt.

“Approximately, 90% of the discussions regarding this have been finalised. We hope to confirm a final decision within the next couple of days,” Cabinet Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told The Morning yesterday (20).

According to Co-Cabinet Spokesman Udaya Gammanpila and State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara who spoke to The Morning last week, PC polls would most likely be held early next year.

The amendment that has been proposed by the Ministry of Public Services, PCs, and Local Government is to hold PC elections either under the old system as per the PCs Elections Act, which is the proportional representation (PR) system, or under the mixed system where 70% of the members would be elected under the PR system and 30% would be elected under the First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) system.

The Sunday Morning reported earlier this month that the Cabinet of Ministers, excluding a few senior members, had agreed to hold the elections under the mixed system.

It was reported yesterday that Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has called for the Government of Sri Lanka to fulfill its commitments under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and to thereby hold PC elections as early as possible, while also being committed to ensuring that they are able to operate effectively.

Currently, the terms of all nine PCs have expired and they are operating under the administration of the provincial governors.