Concerns raised over continuous postponement of LG polls

Concerns have been raised over the continuous postponement of the Local Government (LG) elections.

The March 12 movement today drew attention towards the continuous postponement of the proposed local government election and other issues associated with it.

The electoral term of Batticaloa Municipal Council was the first to end, which was around four years ago.  Subsequently, the electoral terms of numerous other local government institutions too concluded from time to time. The primary reason for this delay, was the new system of elections that was introduced with the mutual consensus of all the political parties. The two delimitation reports which were prepared in order to implement this mixed system of elections, while the first report was flawed and the second report was delayed, became the decisive factor that affected the delay in commencing elections.

“Although such was the reasoning for the said delay, the point that warrants further contemplation is attributed to the fact that on which day, would be the local government elections which should empower the closest institutions to the general public, could be held. A continual postponement of this nature being imposed on elections would not at any rate be palatable for the general public whether or not the legal provisions set out in the constitution advocate accordingly. Even amidst the said delay, the immediate task at hand is the passing of the proposed draft amendments to the act that has already been presented to the parliament,” the March 12 movement said.

Furthermore, it noted that in the proposed mixed system of elections, the selection of council members take place as per the nominations of the respective political parties.

Hence it is revealed that the responsibility of selecting candidates with an impeccable conduct in politics and an untarnished character lies with the leaders of political parties and the organizers in districts and respective electorates. Accordingly, the contribution that can be made by the candidates towards the creation of a clean political culture is indeed immense.

March 12 movement urges the relevant stakeholders to submit nominations only for suitable candidates, having taken the relevant points above into consideration. And the said stakeholders are urged at the same time, to retain transparency throughout the entire process of selecting candidates.

Moreover, March 12 movement expects that the 25% quarter allocated for women candidates as per the amendment act 01 of 2016 will not be changed via any of the provisions introduced in the draft amendment bill which is to be passed in the parliament.

Carrying out the aforementioned tasks is the most immediate responsibility that should be fulfilled at present by the representatives of the general public. Creating a clean political culture is a collective responsibility that should be shouldered by the entire citizenry while the said responsibility is unavoidable for the members of the parliament as the representatives of the people. Apart from that, it is also can be known as a public consensus.

Accordingly, March 12 movement requests all the representatives of the general public to honour the public consensus vested upon them while preserving the sovereignty by commencing the said election with immediate effect.

March 12 movement is a voluntary public movement comprising of various government and non-government organizations and institutions. The eminent persons who have extended their services beyond the realms of their respective organizational commitments, are also contributing to this movement in their individual capacities. March 12 movement which was initiated with the view to fostering a clean political culture in Sri Lanka, embarked on its mission of social activism with the March 12 declaration that was launched on the 12th of March in the year 2015 with the unanimous agreement of leaders of all the political parties in the country. (Colombo Gazette)

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