Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament yesterday that the government had intention of delaying provincial council elections unnecessarily.
The Prime Minister said so in answer to a query raised by Joint Opposition MP Dullas Alahapperuma.
Alahapperuma said: “Despite a court order the government adopted some technical measures to delay the elections to three provincial councils. The North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern provincial council elections were postponed for nine months. In September last year the Prime Minister assured parliament, during the debate that the provincial council elections, that the polls would be held by March this year. But, the government has failed to even take the delimitation national committee report for debate in parliament. Within the next three months Northern, Wayamba and Central provincial councils’ terms will also end but the Prime Minister and the subject minister won’t tell us when the elections will be held.”
The Prime Minister said that the provincial council elections needed to be held. The issue that had arisen was whether to follow the same electoral system as in the LG elections that created administrative issues. “Various parties have opposing views and some are of the view that we should hold the election under the former electoral system and decide on the new system at a later election. However, there are still some parties which have not expressed their views on their preferences. Hence, we hope that these parties will take a decision soon so that we can amend the laws, if necessary, and hold the elections without further delay.”