‘Political parties’ meeting will decide on PC Elections’

An agreement on the Provincial Council Elections will be reached after meeting all political parties, Port and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said.

He said the Cabinet has approved the proposal by the Prime Minister to hold a meeting of all political parties to come into an agreement on the PC Elections.

A five-member committee headed by the Prime Minister was appointed to review the delimitation report and submit a report to the President in two months, the Minister said.

Parliament cannot give it additional two months without changing the laws, he said.

“There is no need to ask for two more months to submit the report since eight weeks is sufficient for the purpose,” he said.

Minister Samarasinghe said the need to introduce a mixed electoral system was officially made known in the policy statements of the President and the United National Party (UNP).

The LG election can be held under the new mixed electoral system - the Proportional Representation System and the First Past the Post System, he said.

The new electoral system was the foremost requirement of the SLFP for them to support the 19th Amendment, he said.

The Steering Committee of the Constitutional Council also proposed to hold the General Election under a mixed electoral system, the Minister said.

Since the government decided to hold the Provincial Councils Election under the mixed electoral system. Local Government Minister Faizer Mustapha appointed a delimitation committee and its report was defeated in Parliament.

Several groups wanted to hold the LG elections under the old system only for this time. The idea of a new electoral system came to fore after the shortcomings of the previous system were identified, the Minister said.

The SLFP never say to postpone the PC Elections. They could be held in January, he said.

Six PC elections could be held without delay. The SLFP has made a policy decision to hold PC elections under the new system, he said.

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