Thursday, June 13, 2024

Sri Lanka to hold local election after getting guarantee on funds from Treasury: Election Commission chair

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Colombo, March 6: Sri Lanka’s election commission on Monday said that the new date for the cash-strapped country’s local election will be announced after receiving a guarantee from the Treasury on the funds required to hold it.

The local body polls scheduled for March 9 were postponed due to a plethora of reasons linked to the country’s current economic crisis.

“We have asked to meet the Treasury Secretary, the inspector general of police and the government printer,” the chair of the independent Election Commission Nimal Punchihewa said on Monday.

The new date will be announced with a guarantee from the Treasury on the money required to hold it.

The meeting follows last week’s order by the Supreme Court on the Secretary Treasury to release the budgetary allocation made for conducting of the poll for 340 local councils in the 2023 budget.

The election to appoint new administrations to 340 local councils for a four-year term has been postponed since March last year due to the ongoing economic crisis.

The election scheduled for March 9 and the postal voting scheduled for February 22, 23 and 24 did not take place as the government printer was not able to print the ballot papers for postal voting.

The main opposition SJB went to the Supreme Court seeking a court order on the officials to cooperate with the Election Commission to hold the poll.

The Elections Commission said the new date for the poll would be announced this week after having the necessary consultations with the relevant officials.

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