Local Government(LG) Elections will not be held this year according to Chairman of the Elections Commission, Mahinda Deshapriya. The earliest possible date to hold the Local Government elections is most likely to fall on either January 6,20 or27, 2018, said the Commissioner.
Deshapriya speaking to the Daily News explained that they were still in the process of finalising the Elections Register and that process could go on until October 10 or 15.
The Elections Commissions need a minimum of 75 days to prepare for an election and even if they are to start in October, it would be in December until a possible date would be available. Given the customary election procedure, this date should also fall on a Saturday.
Deshapriya however pointed out that they had issues holding elections in December due to the earliest available date of December 9 was the date on which O/L exams started and thus they would clash with the Department of Examinations if they were to hold elections at such a time.
In addition, the Elections Department is yet to receive the amendments passed on the Municipal Council Amendments, Urban Council Ordinance, and the Pradeshiya Sabha Acts.
“The Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils had also published the gazette on amendments to the acts wrong and that gazette needs to be corrected,” the Elections Commission Chairman said.
“The older Gazette had the Colombo Municipal with 66 members in wards, 47 under PR (including seats reserved for women). Now we have 66 wards and 44 under PR. So earlier we had 113 and now we only have 110. Therefore, this has to be changed”, Deshapriya said.