Polls Chief ready for election

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday said that the commission was ready to hold an election anytime soon, if Parliament or the Supreme Court gives consent to go ahead with either the provincial council (PC) or presidential elections this year.

Deshapriya told The Sunday Morning that the decision to hold elections should be taken by Parliament, and not by the President.

“There are two elections due this year. One is the PC election and the other is the presidential election, which will depend on the decision given by the Supreme Court,” he said.

A total of eight out of nine PCs are currently defunct and managed by governors of the respective provinces with the network of public officials.

The term of office of the Southern Provincial Council ended on 10 April and the term of office of the Western Provincial Council ended on 21 April. The term of office of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council ended on 26 September 2017, the term of office of the Eastern Provincial Council ended on 30 September 2017, and the term of office of the North Central Provincial Council ended on 1 October 2017. The terms of the Central, North Western, and Northern Provincial Councils ended in September 2018.

The term of office of the Uva Provincial Council will end on 8 September this year.

Last month, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) said it would seek the Supreme Court’s opinion regarding the President’s term of office.