Amended Local Authorities Elections Bill goes to PCs for ratification

[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 October 2010, 10:14 GMT]
The Local Authorities Elections Amendment Bill has been sent to Provincial Councils for their ratification. Provincial Councils that have elected administration are scheduled to meet next week to study the Bill and to express their consent or not. The Bill is to be taken up for perusal at a special meeting of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) that is scheduled to meet on October 19. Western Provincial Council is to meet on October 17. Likewise other elected PCs have also fixed dates to study the amended bill. The Northern Provincial Council, however, has no elected administration and is administered by the Provincial Governor who is a retired Major General in the Sri Lanka Army.

The amended bill will be taken up for debate in the Sri Lanka parliament during the first week of November only after the approval of the provincial councils.

Meanwhile, the general secretary of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Hassan Ali addressing a party meeting held Friday in Colombo at party headquarters said the SLMC would not support the amended Local Authorities Elections Bill in parliament if the party’s suggestions are not endorsed by the provincial councils.

He added that according to the amended bill if the budget of a local authority is defeated twice the minister has the power to appoint a special commissioner to run the council.

But the amendment has failed to mention the said minister will be from the central government or from the provincial council, Hassan Ali said.

The amended bill has provisions some are in favor of minority communities while majority of them are in favor of majority community, he added

The amended bill states that thirty percent seats of a local authority will be filled under proportionate representation system. It was not clear how it would be done. The suggestions put forward by the SLMC should be endorsed by the PCs to expect the SLMC support in parliament for the amended bill, Hassan said.


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