Election Commission Chairman Attorney at law Nimal G. Punchihewa said that the Supreme Court has ruled on several occasions that neither the government nor the Election Commission can postpone elections..
In a statement to the media, he has indicated that he has received the Attorney General’s opinion regarding the holding of the local government elections and accordingly, the relevant gazette notification will be issued between December 6 and January 9.
However, he said that the opinion presented by the Attorney General to the Election Commission cannot be disclosed to the media or any other party, and that there is no legal obstacle to holding the local government election and establishing the 340 local government bodies by March 19, 2023.
“The Supreme Court has ruled on many occasions that the government and the Election Commission cannot delay the holding of elections, but they can go for an election earlier than the legally scheduled date,” emphasized Mr. Punchiheva.
He also said that an amount of 10 billion rupees has been allocated for holding elections in the interim budget of 2022.
In a discussion held on November 15, Mr. Punchiheva had taken steps to give a guarantee to the joint opposition led by SJB leader Mr. Sajith Premadasa that the necessary environment would be prepared for the establishment of all 340 local government bodies by March 19, 2023, and that the local government elections would be held on time.
He also promised them that the related gazette announcement will be issued between December 6 and January 9, 2023.