LG polls only after Jan: PM

The Local Government elections could only be held in January next year while the party leaders could decide on the Provincial Council polls later, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe informed Parliament today.

The Prime Minister, who made a statement in the House said Local Government elections could only be held January next year because of GCE Ordinary Level Examination, which would be held in mid-December and because of the budget.

He said the Ministry of education has requested that the polls should not be held in December this year.

UPFA MP and Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa then raised a question as to when the Provincial Council elections could be held.

“You said Local Government elections will be held in January next year but we would like to know as to when the Government intends to hold the polls for Provincial Councils, whose terms end next month,” Mr. Rajapaksa questioned.

He said that Elections Commission had said it would be possible to hold elections to these councils in December.

Prime Minister who responded said the issues of GCE Ordinary Level examination and the budget would pop-up for these elections as well.

“We will have to talk with the Polls Chief and political parties on this issue,” the Prime Minister said.
Further the Prime Minister said the Local Government polls were delayed as there were many issues to be resolved.

“The previous Government had created wards, where there are not enough voters. These were done in order to get political mileage,” he said.

The Premier said the Government would be able to bring in a new mixed electoral system for the local bodies based on a ward system.

“We have also been able to secure the minor parties and ensure a fair slot for women in all local bodies,” he added.

The Prime Minister assured that the mixed electoral system would be extended to Provincial Councils and Parliamentary elections as well.

“All changes will be done with the consent of all parties,” he also said.

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