Election Expenditure Bill final presidential tactic to delay polls: Marikkar 

Thursday, 19 January 2023 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Says Govt. is continuing its efforts to delay polls and rid the people of their right to vote
  • Claims if bill is adopted, elections will be delayed through petition to courts calling for it to apply to the upcoming vote as well 
  • Pledges to support bill if it is stipulated that it will only apply to elections after March

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP S.M. Marikkar said the proposed Regulation of Election Expenditure Bill is the final tactic by President Ranil Wickremesinghe to delay the upcoming Local Government Elections. 

The SJB MP speaking in Parliament yesterday said various tricks are being used to postpone elections including creating queues for various essentials such as fuel by delaying shipments and increasing power cuts in order to harass the public. “The people have had to adapt to these actions of the Government. The only way the public can express their opinion is through a vote. But now there are attempts to rid them of this right,” he said. 

“Election Expenditure Bill is the latest of these tactics to delay elections,” he said. Noting that the taking up of the bill was delayed for a month following the discussion, Marikkar noted it was due to the fact that if passed it will come into effect as law. 

“If it is passed tomorrow and the speaker signs off on it the day after, the Election Commission of Sri Lanka will need time to formulate the necessary regulations accordingly. Elections will have to be delayed as a result of this,” he said. “This is the very last conspiracy. The eighth President is attempting to set up the final trap,” he accused. 

Marikkar said the Government will go to court and claim the new law should apply to the local Government election, thereby requiring it to be delayed. “This is the road map,” the MP said, adding that the Opposition will support the bill if it is noted it will only apply to elections after the local Government polls scheduled to be held in March.