Election to six provincial councils on one day

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 April 2004, 07:35 GMT]
Sri Lankaís President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge is seriously considering a proposal to hold elections to six provincial councils (excluding northwest) in the south of the country on one day. She is to begin talks next week with leaders and secretaries of various political parties in this regard. Already the election to northwestern provincial council has been fixed for April 24th, political sources said.

The main objective of Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge to hold the elections to six provincial councils on one day, probably in the month of May this year is to utilize the current political wave that resulted in the victory of United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) at the recent general election, sources said.

The provincial council system was introduced in the country with the passage of 13 th amendment to the constitution following the signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Pact by the then Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi and President J.R.Jayawardene in the year 1987 in a bid to find a political solution to the Tamil national question, sources said

There are eight provincial councils- Western, Central, North Western, Uva, Sabragamuwa, Southern, North Central and North East- functioning in the country. However except the northeast provincial council others are administered by elected administration. The NEPC is administered by the central government since its elected administration was dissolved by the then President R.Premadasa in 1989, sources said.

The life term of the Central Provincial Council now being administered by an elected administration of the United National Party is to expire on April 28. The lift term of all other five councils, which are under the administration of the Sri Lanka Freedom party, are to expire in May, June and August this year. Hence Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge has been advised by the leadership of the SLFP to dissolve these provincial councils in advance and to hold elections on one day, sources said.

The Commissioner of Elections has welcomed the proposal to hold elections to six provincial councils on one day, as it would reduce time and expenditure, sources said.

 

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