Various proposals to pave the way to hold the long overdue Local Government Elections were discussed at a special Party Leaders’ Meeting convened in Parliament yesterday.

The meeting took place at the Speaker’s Office soon after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe arrived in Parliament after his visit to India.

Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya and Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya attended the meeting on the invitation of the Party Leaders.

Parliamentary sources said the Attorney General agreed to submit a motion to advance the hearing of the petition before the Court of Appeal to November 30 without waiting till December 4.

The AG has informed those present in the meeting that he would submit the relevant motion on Monday. The proposal to conduct the LG elections for constituencies not affected by the Court of Appeal stay order had been discussed at length at the meeting.

The stay order is relevant only to multi-member constituencies. The Elections Commission Chairman had stated that elections should be held for 133 local government bodies which had not been affected by the Gazette.

According to sources from the Government it has been decided to go ahead and conduct the polls for the rest of LG bodies if the Stay Order continued. The Chairman had stated that he would discuss the matter at the next meeting of the Elections Commission.

Another proposal discussed was to submit a substantive motion to parliament to pass a law to rectify the delay caused by the faulty Gazette.

Asked as to what was the position of the SLFP, he said the SLFP firmly denied the allegations of its involvement in the petition.

JVP Leader Anura Dissanayake however commented that the meeting ended inconclusive. “The Premier was looking for various options, but there had been no satisfactory resolution. Our position was that the petition must be revoked to pave the way for elections,” he said.

The meeting that extended for about an hour was chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and attended by the Prime Minister, Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Dr Sarath Amunugama, Lakshman Kiriella, Rauf Hakeem and MPs Douglas Devananda, Dinesh Gunawardena, Ravi Karunanayake. 



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