Delimitation report in for sabotage?

by Rathindra Kuruwita

Several MPs have objected to the division of provincial councilors elected under the first-past-the-post system and the proportional representation system in the new Provincial Council Election (Amendment) Act that would be debated when the delimitation report was taken up in parliament, Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government, Faiszer Musthapha said yesterday.

Musthapha said the committee that prepared the delimitation report had acted independently and it would be discussed in Parliament.

"I suggested that we get the opinions of the political parties, but the members of the committee was of the opinion that if that was done they would not be able to finish the report within four months. That is reasonable because it’s up to Parliament to decide thereon," he said.

Election monitors have warned that there are moves by the government to delay the provincial council elections due later this year by ensuring that there won’t be a two-thirds majority for the delimitation report.

The Section 11 of the provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Act No. 17 of 2017 says that ‘the Delimitation Committee ‘shall submit its report to the Minister, who shall within two weeks of the receipt of such report, table it in Parliament for its approval by not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members of Parliament (including those not present) voting in its favour.’ If the report is not approved by a two-thirds majority in parliament within one month of being tabled, then the Speaker shall appoint a Review Committee, consisting of five persons representing the major communities and, headed by the Prime Minister, it says.


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