The Speaker of Parliament placed his signatureon 12 October to endorse the three bills to amend the Municipal Council Ordinance, Urban Council Ordinance and the Pradeshiya Sabha Act which was passed into law in Parliament last Monday(9th October). The three amendments will form the legal framework to fulfill requirements for the changing of the election system which legal amendments were framed according to the recommendations of the Election Commission. And the release for the printing of the Gazette announcing the composition of local government member representation is scheduled for midnight on 12 October as understood by “Lanka News Web” according to reliable sources. The gazette (no.2006/44) related to the boundary delimitation was out recently.
The Local Authorities Elections (Amendments) Act No.16 of 2017 that could be considered containing the most important laws pertaining to the new election system was passed in Parliament on 9th October. Therefore main legal requirements for holding next Elections under a mixed system could said to be complete. As such we could expect the holding of the local government elections very soon according to the new system under the direction and supervision of the Election Commission.
The list of main changes under the Local Authorities Elections (Amendments) Act 16 of 2017.
- Amending Section 9 of the principal enactment- A public servant engaged in field based activity such as in social, development, economic, welfare, health, or such other activity within the scope of his employment and who has not ceased to serve within a local authority area in which he seeks nomination at least one year prior to the election to such local authority shall be disqualified in seeking nomination as a candidate.
- Amending Section 12 of the principal enactment- laws affecting the elections system by substituting the word Polling Division for Polling District
- Amending Section 27 and Section 28 of the principal enactment-laws affirming women representation of 25% at the local councils
- Amending Section 28 of the principal enactment- laws affirming youth representation of 30% at the local councils
- Amending Section 29 of the principal enactment- reducing the nomination deposit of candidates
– Surekha Samarasena