Minister hopeful of agreement with all parties on PC polls | Daily News

Minister hopeful of agreement with all parties on PC polls

We are hopeful that we would be able to come into an agreement on the Provincial Council Elections after the meeting of all political parties, Port and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said.

Addressing the media yesterday, the Minister said the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal submitted by the Prime Minister to hold a meeting of all political parties to come to an agreement on the Provincial Council Elections.

Responding to a question by a journalist about the government’s response to the request by the five member committee headed by the Prime Minister, which was appointed to review the Delimitation Report, to give an additional two months period, for the preparation of the evaluation report, Minister Samarasinghe said that Parliament cannot give an additional two months without changing the laws.

But according to the law, a five member committee headed by the Prime Minister was appointed to review the Delimitation Report and submit the report to the President within two months.

“There is no need to ask two more months to submit the report since a period of eight weeks is sufficient for this purpose,” he added.

Responding to a statement by a Minister at the Cabinet Media Briefing claiming that apart from the SLFP, all other parties had expressed willingness to hold the next elections under the previous system, Minister Samarasinghe said the need of introducing a new mixed electoral system was officially introduced to the country for the first time though the policy statements of the President and the UNP.

“So we would be able to hold the Local Government election under the new mixed electoral system consisting of the Proportional Representation system and the First-Past-the-Post System,” he said.

The SLFP took the decision to extend its support to the 19th Amendment only after being promised that the 20th Amendment will be introduced for a new mixed electoral system. There were other reasons also. But the new electoral system was the most important requirement of the SLFP,the Minister said.

The Steering Committee of the Constitutional Council also proposed to hold the General Election under a mixed electoral system.

“Since the government decided to hold the Provincial Councils Election under the mixed electoral system and Local Government Minister Fizer Mustapha appointed a Delimitation Committee. But, the Report of the Delimitation Committee for the Delimitation of Electorates in Provincial Councils was defeated in Parliament,” Minister Samarasinghe said.

“There is no argument with the new electoral system since it was introduced as a solution for the issues related to the previous electoral system. Some groups wanted to hold the local government election under the old system only for this time. It is a joke. The necessity of introducing a new electoral system rose after identifying the shortcomings of the previous system,” he added.

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party never proposes to postpone Provincial Council election. The Provincial Council election could be held in January.

The elections to six provincial councils could be held without any further postponement. The SLFP has taken a policy decision to hold Provincial Council Elections under the new system and we do not want to get any political advantage out of this. 


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