Elections monitoring bodies criticized the contradictory nature of the statements made by Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government, Faiszer Musthapha and President Maithripala Sirisena with regard to the conducting of local government elections.
Polls monitor, People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) called for the independent Elections Commission to intervene and inquire, as it is their responsibility, into holding timely elections.
Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi said that while Musthapha had previously stated that the delimitation by the Delimitation Commission would end by August this year, President Sirisena had recently stated that the said elections would be held early next year.
If the delimitation is concluded by August, this would allow time for the Department of Elections to do their initial, basic preparations in order for the elections to be held in either September or October or by November the latest, he observed.
“What is the use of these statements when President Sirisena nullifies what Musthapha says,” he queried.
He said the voter registry would have to be adjusted as per the new electorates because the former system was based on the divisional jurisdiction whereas now it will be the jurisdiction of the grama niladhari division and such would have to be gazetted.
“The elections can be held in the areas where there are no issues pertaining to the delimitation. We are considering the possibility of legal action to halt the constant postponement of the said elections and to get a ruling for them to be held at least in the electorates sans delimitation related problems,” he said.