Parties consider legal action as Returning Officers reject 450 nominations

by Franklin R. Satyapalan

Several political parties are seeking legal advice to challenge in Courts the rejection of their nomination papers.

Among the parties affected by Returning Officers’ decision are the ruling UPFA, the UNP, theJVP, the TNA, the EPDP, the SLMC, the UPF and the NSSP.

A majority of the 25 Chief Returning Officers rejected 450 nominations for the March 17 elections to 301 local bodies.

Elections Secretariat advisor Bandula Kulatunga said yesterday that 2,047 nominations had been received between Jan. 20 and 12 noon on Jan. 27.

He said 1,282 nominations had been submitted by political parties and 765 by independent groups. Of that number, 450 nominations were rejected for not meeting the mandatory requirement of 40 per cent youth candidates; not having the nomination papers attested by Justices of the Peace or Commissioners of Oath or duly signed by the general secretaries of recognised political parties or the secretaries of independent groups.

The 450 rejected nomination lists include 148 from political parties and 302 Independent Groups.

Altogether, 1,597 nominations were accepted including 1,134 from political parties and 463 from independent groups.

TNA parliamentarian and spokesman Suresh Premachandran, speaking on the rejection of two nomination lists for the Pooneryn and Pachilappali Prsdeshya Sabhas, in the Killinochchi District, said that when they got to know that fellow MP Sritharan, who handed over the nomination papers, had failed to get them attested, they spoke to TULF Leader V. Anandasangari and got him to submit another two sets of nomination lists under the TULF so that the TNA would not be affected since both were contesting as a coalition.

UPFA sources said that with the return of President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday the party’s legal advisers were meeting to discuss ways and means of moving the Courts against the rejection of their nomination papers.

UNP General Secretary MP Tissa Attanayake said that nine nominations of his party had been rejected, one in the Kilinochchi District, Elahera and Dimbulagala in the Polonnaruwa District, Homagama in the Colombo District one in the Batticaloa District, Warakapola in the Kegalle District and Weligapola and Embilipitiya in the Sabragamuwa Province.

He said that the UNP was seeking legal advice to file legal action.

UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapaksha said that he was considering filing action in connection with the rejection of the nomination papers for the Homagama PS.

EPDP Spokesperson M. Stalin said that their leader Minister Douglas Devananda was seeking legal advice as regard the rejection of 19 nomination lists of the UPFA for 16 Pradeshya Sabhas in the Jaffna District and three in Kilinochchi.

SLMC General Secretary MP M. T. Hassen Ali said that the Party had its nominations for Attanagalla and Minuwangoda in the Gampaha District, Akurana in the Kandy district, Ukuwela in the Matale district and Mawathagama in the Kurunegala District rejected. He said that the Party High Command was to meet and decide whether to file action or not.


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