LG polls later this year under new system

‘40% funds allocated to LG bodies abused’


By Dasun Edirisinghe

Elections to all local government authorities will be held towards the end of this year on a single day under the new electoral system, Public Administration, Provincial Councils, Local Government and Democratic Governance Karu Jayasuriya said.

Addressing the media at the ministry after receiving the Delimitation Report on Local Government bodies carried out by a special committee, Jayasuriya said that though the official terms of 234 local government bodies had ended recently, the terms of others would end in July and October.

The Code of Conduct for Elected Members of Local Authorities approved by the Cabinet recently and also released yesterday would also be applicable for those who are elected to LG bodies under the new system, Minister Jayasuriya said.

The delimitation process was completed recently by a committee comprising Jayalath Ravi Dissanayake (Chairman), H. G. Premasiri, Wimal Rubasinghe, A. A. H.M. Nehiya and Andavan Devaraja.

The report, handed over to him yesterday would be presented to President Maithripala Sirisena within the next few days, Jayasuriya said, adding that after that it would be gazetted.

"After it is gazetted, it will be open for opinions and objections again," he said.

Jayasuriya said that under the new system a total number of representatives of local government bodies would be increased to 5,081 and it would be an increase of 585 members compared to the remaining system. At present there were 4,486 local government members countrywide.

The Gampaha District MP elections would not be held on a staggered basis hereafter as it was a major headache for the people.

According to investigations 40% of funds allocated to local government bodies had been abused and wasted by public representatives and it would be stopped under their government, the minister said.

He said that President Sirisena had already put an end to using public funds for local government members’s foreign junkets.

Chairman of the Delimitation Committee, Jayalath Ravi Dissanayake said that they had started work in 2012 and ended it in March this year.

The term of the committee was extended up to May 31 due to that. "We received 122 proposals and 56 of them were included in the final draft," Dissanayake said.

He said that maps of the new proposals would be released by the Survey Department in the near future.

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