‘Discussions on draft with party representatives were denied’ | Daily News
Delimitation report

‘Discussions on draft with party representatives were denied’

Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister Faiszer Musthapha said no one could point their fingers at him with regard to the delimitation report, and that as per Provincials Councils Act Section 3A, he was statutorily bound to table the report in Parliament within two weeks of receiving it.

Minister Musthapha said that taking into consideration the in adequate time provided by the committee to submit the views and concerns of political parties, he made a request to the committee chairman to provide an opportunity to discuss the draft delimitation report with party representatives prior to handing over the report.

“But the chairman of the committee turned down my request, citing that there was no such provision in the Act for such a process,” he said.

Addressing the media yesterday at the Provincial Council and Local Government Ministry, he said that with the introduction of the Provincial Council Election (Amendment) Act No. 17 of 2017 to the electoral system, the definition of electorate had become one of the prime necessities to conduct the Provincial Council Election. In keeping with that requirement, a provision had been included in the Act itself, to appoint a delimitation committee comprising five members by the President.

Minister Musthapha added that in the event of failure to adopt the report by Parliament with a 2/3 majority, a committee appointed by the Speaker and headed by the Prime Minister, would look into the grievances of the public and party leaders pertaining to the report.

“I would say that the parliamentary debate on this delimitation report was the only opportunity available for me to express my views and objections on this report,” he said.

The minister added that without any acceptable and reasonable justification, the committee had overlooked the opportunity provided to it by the Act No. 17 of 2017, to create multi-member electorates to ensure representations of minority groups.

“I was compelled to table this report in Parliament as required by the law, although neither my ministry or I was involved at any stage of its finalisation,” the minister said.

“However, at the debate, I had to fulfil my statutory obligation as a member of Parliament, by clearly expressing my objections to the report,” he added.

Minister Musthapha said that the government was ready to conduct an election, adding that it was not an attempt to postpone it. 

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