To be or not to be?

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 June 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The question of elections is hanging in the balance without a firm announcement by the Sri Lanka Government (SLG) as to whether it would go ahead with the provincial council polls, or opt for Presidential election after November this year.

Though the State run Daily News stated it "reliably understands that the Government has decided to go ahead with the Provincial Council elections" there was no official confirmation of that, despite a special cabinet meeting held on Thursday.

Colombo based sources said that indications were that even if the SLG holds provincial polls, it will not be in July or August - by when five of the eight provinces are constitutionally required to hold elections.

ranil_wickramasinghe_3-p.gifPostponing elections would require an order by the President under Emergency Regulations. In the event of a postponement, nominations which have already been called for in respect of the five provinces will have to be cancelled and fresh nominations called closer to the elections.

Mr. A.H.M. Fowzie, Ministry of Health, Highways said following special cabinet meeting held on Friday that security would be a problem in holding the elections at the present time, but added that the problem had been discussed at cabinet meeting and a solution found. He did not reveal further details.

The State run Daily News, in its report yesterday, said that for the SLG had decided to go ahead with the PC polls, as Ranil Wickramsinghe, the leader of the main Sri Lankan opposition, the United National Party (UNP) had failed to give an undertaking that his party would cooperate in changing the Constitution to postpone elections.

Ranil Wickramsinghe has said that he was prepared to cooperate in postponing provincial polls if the SLG would give an undertaking to hold Presidential elections soon.

Minister A.H.M. Fowzie called the UNP's condition of early presidential elections childish and added that the matter had not been discussed at the meeting.

According to the Constitution however, Presidential Elections can only be held after November this year, when the incumbent completes four years in office.


Related Articles:
19.06.98   Government moves to postpone PC Elections
19.06.98   UNP opposes calls to delay elections

 

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