SC rules no Provincial Council polls without delimitation

The Supreme Court has ruled that without a new Delimitation report that lays out the boundaries for electorates for the Provincial Councils elections to these bodies cannot be held under the new Local Councils Act.

It has also ruled out the possibility that these elections be held under the old electoral system which is the Proportional-Preferential method, the Presidential Secretariat announced yesterday 2 Sept.

The Decision by a five-judge bench was arrived at last week after President Maithripala Sirisena asked the Apex Court’s opinion on the matter as PC elections are overdue and thereby Sri Lankans have been denied the right to use their franchise.

The PC polls was also controversial if they were to be held in the heat of the Presidential campaign which is just getting underway.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna in particular objected to the PC poll being called at this time because they felt the campaign for the provincial bodies would distract the public from the more important Presidential poll.

The SLPP’s Chairman Prof. G L Peiris accused the government of using the PC poll as way of postponing the presidential.  “This is their last trump card,” he told reporters in August.

The new system of elections which mixed the older Ward method with some seats distributed on a proportional basis with the added proviso of a compulsory women’s quota was tried out in the March 2018 Local Government elections.

The result was a multi-shambles with officials and political parties at loss as to how conclusively allocate seats for women as well as the proportionate seats. Many councils were hung and widespread corrupt deals soured the results further.

Several Councilors admitted they had crossed party lines for cash prompting even the President to comment that he had never seen such blatant horse trading after an elections.

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