JO alleges EC yet to finalise elected reps to LG bodies



By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday alleged that the Election Commission was planning to appoint representatives in contravention of the newly introduced Local Government Authorities Elections (Amendment) Act No. 16 of 2017.

JO member and MP Sisira Jayakody lashed out at EC Chairman, claiming that even though he had boasted of an efficient electoral system, the commission couldn’t even finalise the appointment of representative to the local government (LG) institutions without an inordinate delay.

Under the constitutional provisions, laws couldn’t be introduced retrospectively.

Jayakody said the JO would take legal action against the process that had been adopted as it violated the fundamental rights of representatives who had won at the recently concluded LG election.

Secretary to the Provincial Councils and Local Government Ministry Kamal Pathmasiri said the representative to LG institutions should be appointed before March 06, 2018 following a gazette notification published by the Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government.

Explaining the process of the appointment of Chairman/Mayor, Pathmasiri said the selection should be made by the secretary of the respective political party which had 50 percent of seats or the appointment could be made at the first sitting which should be chaired by the Local Government Commissioner of the respective province.

In addition, according to the act, there was no room for crossovers, Secretary Pathmasiri said.

Commenting on the women representatives, the Secretary said it had been decided to proceed with the present Act without amending its provisions. Therefore, at a meeting held between the leaders of all political parties it had been decided that if there were issues in relation to women representation, steps would be taken according to court decisions.

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