Postponing NE local elections requires new legislation

[TamilNet, Thursday, 05 January 2006, 01:07 GMT]
Mr.Dayananda Dissanayake, Commissioner of Elections said Tuesday that he has no authority to postpone the elections to the local authorities in the North and East. Only District Returning Officers are empowered to change dates of holding local elections, Mr Dissanayake said at a press briefing held Tuesday at the auditorium of the Department of Elections.

The Commissioner of Elections said that a new law empowering the Government to postpone the NorthEast local elections should be adopted in the parliament if it decides to postpone these elections for another term.

Local government elections in the NorthEast are scheduled to be held in February as the extension given to the local governments lapses on January 25. NorthEast local elections have been postponed since 1994 after accepting nominations from parties and independent groups.

About twenty percent of candidates who have submitted their nominations in 1994 have died. About nineteen percent of candidates have joined other political parties leaving the parties on behalf of which they submitted nominations to contest the 1994 elections. Nearly half the territory of local bodies in the North and East is not in the government controlled area. Some local bodies are completely not in the government-controlled area, said Mr Dissanayake.

Revised voters registeres-2005 would come into effect only after May this year. Therefore, the Local elections should be held using the 2004 voters' registers before April this year, he said.

 

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