Colombo, August 6 (newsin.asia): The election schedule for Sri Lanka’s nine Provincial Councils will have to await the fate of the 20 th. constitutional amendment bill which will be presented to parliament soon.
The 20 th. Amendment gazetted on July 28, and published on August 3, aims at holding provincial council elections on the same day, designated as the “specified date”. Parliament will have to state the specified date.
Till the “specified date”, no Provincial Council election will be held. Councils which finish their terms before that, will continue to function till the specified date. And Councils which have more time to go, will stand dissolved on the specified date and parliament will take over their functions.
This constitutional amendment will have to get two thirds majority in parliament. If someone goes to the Supreme Court objecting to the bill, the court could even seek a referendum ,said Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP, M.A.Sumanthiran.
He further said that the dates for all elections including the local bodies and parliament elections may have to be changed because of a general wish that forthcoming elections should be held under a new system and a uniform system applicable to all the three tiers, local, provincial and parliamentary.
The new system, which will be a mix of the Proportional Representation System and the First Past the Post System, with reservations for women among other provisions, is still being debated.
Delimitation of constituencies or electorates is also being discussed with small and big parties; parties of the majority community and the minority communities. These have contradictory views.
According to Sumanthiran delimitation itself could take up to an year to be over.
Given the complicated nature of the process, early elections to local bodies and Provincial Councils seem unlikely.
As per the original schedule ,the local bodies are supposed to go for elections at the end of the year, and three Provincial Councils are to go for the polls early next year. But it is doubtful if this schedule will be stuck to.
(The featured image at the top is that of M.A.Sumanthiran. Photo.Athavan News)