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Jan 01, 2017

A plot to delay local council elections - CaFFE

The Appeals Committee on Demarcation of Boundaries and the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils have united to deliberately delay the local council elections and Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) will take legal action against those who are responsible for this conspiracy, CaFFE Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said.

Although the Committee was to hand over its report to the Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils yesterday (27) it has not handed over the report stating that they still need to finalize translating the document to all three languages.

The Committee initially said that they will hand over the report on March 2016 but it continuously extended the deadline stating various reasons. Chairman of the Committee Asoka Peiris once said that they were given an extension even without them requesting for such an extension adding that the report can be presented by 30 November. However a few days later he stated that the report can be only handed over on the 15th December and the Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils said that if he receives the document on 15 December he will gazette it in the 16th. But as usual the deadline was extended again and the Committee was to hand over the report yesterday but the report was not handed over.

CaFFE believes that the committee has come under the influence of a powerful force that wants to delay the election to fulfill narrow political agendas. If the Secretary to the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils and his officials have not provided the necessary human resources needed to translate the report, they are responsible for deliberate sabotage of peoples sovereignty.

On the other hand there is a plan to forward the report to the Prime Minister and present it to the parliament. This is beyond the mandate of the committee and this will be used to delay the election by obstructing it in Parliament with the assistance of political parties who prefer to hold elections under the proportional system.

Tennakoon added that political parties and the civil society must come together to defeat the conspiracy by the Committee, the Ministry and political parties who insist holding elections under the proportional system.

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