UNP's legal challenge over polls

[TamilNet, Monday, 31 August 1998, 12:44 GMT]
Sri Lanka's main opposition party, the UNP, will begin legal proceedings against the PA government this week to challenge the constitutional validity of postponing elections to the provincial councils said party sources today.

The PA regime imposed an island wide emergency and postponed elections to the provincial bodies that were due this month.

The elections to the provincial councils that were established by the thirteenth amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution in 1987 cannot be indefinitely postponed.

The UNP has begun an island wide campaign to agitate against the government's decision to extend the draconian emergency regulations to all the provinces of the island and to postpone the provincial elections.

The government's coalition partners have also expressed strong reservations about the delaying of the provincial polls.

Critics say that the government is worried that the results could be unfavorable because of the rising cost of living and economic instability.

They say that the government believes that the success of the fifteen month long military campaign in the north to open the high way to Jaffna could improve its position at the provincial polls.

The PA has said that it will hold the elections after opening the highway to the north.

The UNP will launch the constitutional challenge in courts with a legal team led by Mr. Shibly Azziz who was formerly Sri Lanka's attorney general.

 

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