On February 24, the election body announced that the LG polls would not be held on March 09 as scheduled, due to matters beyond its control. The decision was reached at a meeting attended by the election body’s chairman Attorney-at-Law Nimal G. Punchihewa and its members, M.M. Mohamed, S.B. Divaratne and P.P. Pathirana.
On several occasions, the Election Commission held subsequent meetings to review the country’s economic situation and several other factors in order to decide on the new dates for the LG polls.
Accordingly, the Election Commission members are meeting again this morning, before they reach a final decision and announce the revised dates for the LG polls.
Against this backdrop, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has urged the Government of Sri Lanka to hold a “free and fair” local authorities election without further delaying the matter.
In a tweet, the chairman of the committee Senator Bob Menendez denounced any effort to take away the voice of the people of Sri Lanka as “undeniably undemocratic” and “a direct violation of Sri Lankans’ rights”.
The postponement of the local authorities election sparked multiple protests in parts of the island, largely in Colombo as it was met with the objection of the political parties in the opposition.
Citing the ongoing economic crisis, the government of President Ranil Wickremesinghe has insisted that the elections cannot be funded at the moment. – ada derana