Northeast elections to be postponed again

[TamilNet, Thursday, 19 June 2003, 10:59 GMT]
Northeast local government elections are likely to be put off for another year, according to well-informed sources in the Election Department. Meanwhile the Commissioner of Elections is likely to inform the United National Front government the difficulties in holding elections on June 25 as already gazetted, department sources said.

The Commissioner of Elections Mr.Dayananda Dissanayake Wednesday held discussion with the Assistant Returning Officers who are government agents of the districts in the northeast on the possibility of holding elections based on the nominations accepted in the year 2002, sources said.

All Assistant Returning Officers have been asked by the Commissioner of Elections to report on the ground situation whether it is conducive to hold elections to fifty-one local bodies including three municipal councils, two urban councils and forty-one Pradesya Sabahs in the northeast province, sources said.

Furthermore, the Commissioner of Elections is likely to bring to the notice of the UNF government that he is not empowered under the present Local Government Election Ordinance to act on situation prevailing in the area such as voters displaced due to various reasons, to include names of fresh candidate in place of dead candidate and to postpone election in case of unrest in a particular area, sources said.

The Commissioner of Elections is likely to seek the UNF government's action to bring an amendment to the existing Local Government Election Ordinance to rectify these shortcomings and to postpone the elections in the northeast till that time, sources said.


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