LG polls: 25 April informed as new election date

Wednesday, 8 March 2023 01:06 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The National Election Commission of Sri Lanka has informed District Returning Officers that 25th April will be the new date for Local Government elections. Writing to the relevant District Returning Officers, Commissioner General of elections Saman Sri Ratnayake said the Local Government elections will not be conducted on 9th March as previously announced through an extraordinary gazette on 30th January due to the unexpected and unavoidable issues faced in the printing of the ballot papers and other support required. He said the members of the Commission have therefore decided 25th April will be the next most suitable date to hold the elections. 

Meanwhile, the Election Commission had summoned before it several state officials yesterday, including the Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana, IGP C.D. Wickramaratne and Government Printer Gangani Liyanage. Speaking to the media following the meeting, Liyanage said the requirements of the Government press including the time needed to complete the printing process, the funds and police security needed was informed to the Commission. She said the police assured her they would provide the necessary police personnel required to provide security to the ballot paper printing process. 

The opposition parties also met with the Commission yesterday. The Samagi Jana Balawegaya, National People’s Power Party, Tamil National Alliance, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, All Ceylon Makkal Congress, Freedom People’s Congress and the Tamil Progressive Alliance had requested a meeting to express their concerns about the Local Government polls. MP Prof G.L. Peiris said the Treasury Secretary was a no-show at the meeting and if he continuously fails to provide the funds, they will be forced to seek redress from the Courts once again to force him into releasing the necessary funds for the elections. Samagi Jana Balawegaya General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara said they will be forced to file a contempt of court case against Siriwardana if he does not provide the funds as stipulated by the recent court order.