3 August, 2020

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Election Commission Urges Supreme Court Direction Over Polls

The Elections Commission of Sri Lanka, which last Tuesday (31 March) urged President’s Office to seek the opinion of the Attorney General over the holding of already-postponed General Election; has now urged that the direction of the Supreme Court be immediately sought due to incessant Covid 19 pandemic.

Mahinda Deshapriya

In an urgent communique dated 1st April 2020, the Chairman of the Elections Commission – Mahinda Deshapriya brought to the notice of the Secretary to the President – Dr. P. B . Jayasundara that the Commission observed that General Election was not likely to be held even during the last week of May and that the Parliament was not likely to convene within a lapse of three months from its dissolution on 2nd March 2020.

“When considering the increase of Covid 19 patients and as per expert opinion on epidemiologists, it is evident that that the complete control of this virus within the month of April is untenable”

“As such, it is the decision of this Commission that (His Excellency) the President immediately takes action to obtain a direction of the Supreme Court, in order to resolve the consequential issues.”

In terms of Article 118(d) and 129(1) of the Constitution the President may invoke the Consultative jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, “If at any time it appears to the President of the Republic that a question of law or fact has arisen or is likely to arise which is of such nature and of such public importance that it is expedient to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court upon it, he may refer that question to that Court for consideration and the Court may, after such hearing as it thinks fit, within the period specified in such reference or within such time as may be extended by the President, report to the President its opinion thereon.” Usually the time period stipulated is 24 or 72 hours.

In a previous communique dated 31st March 2020, the Chairman Deshapriya stipulated that (as per the Constitution) the new Parliament should convene at least on 1st April 2020 and that the latest dates on which the polls could be held on was either 27th or 28th May. As such basic preparation work should be kick started on at least 20th April.

“Towards that end the impact of Covid 19 pandemic must be negligible and a condition to conduct their tasks without fear of obstruction must arise to officers of the EC and other public servants and in addition to political actors.”

“However considering today (i.e. 30th March) conditions, it is the opinion of many that it is unrealistic to expect such situation to arise by 20th April.”

“As such the EC observes that constitutional issues may arise in the event the situation does not return to complete normalcy, elections are held before the conclusion of May and the new Parliament is unable to convene befeore 2nd June. As such it was desirable to obtain the opinion of the Hon. Attorney General.”

“President Gotabaya Rajapaksa by Extraordinary Gazette Notification bearing no 2165/8 dated 2nd March 2020 ordered that Parliament is dissolved, that General Election be held on 25th April 2020 and that the new Parliament should convene on 14th May 2020.”

Deshapriya also said that the Prime Minister, secretaries of political parties of which Members of Parliament were affiliated to and election observer bodies would also be made aware of this.

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Latest comments

  • 11
    0

    What is the guarantee that the Court Ruling will be upheld by the President? With the passage of time, the ruling may be ignored similar to the release of the army Sergent, in the “interest of the country”. Let the parliament be reconvened and an all-party decision taken.

  • 12
    0

    In my view, the chances of holding any Election before the end of August 2020 are very remote.
    I also believe that the Country should be guided by the Parliamentary system without any further delay. One way to come out of this stalmate could be to retract the March 2nd Gazete and to reconvene the dissolved Parliament. Sevanthi

    • 3
      0

      K. Anaga & Ivan Croos,
      I don’t know whether Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed all military personal in many important institutions expecting such as Corona virus or not, I don’t think he will not bring the parliament again. He will rather go for a military government for any long as he wish even if that is unconstitutional with the support of Buddhist Sinhala and China. At this juncture, all western countries are facing economic disaster and now powerless to influence any human rights or even genocide of minorities.

  • 2
    0

    Can the AG or the CJ rule when the COVID-19 pandemic shall end?

    • 3
      0

      For the AG or the CJ to rule on the matter they would have to first obtain the consent of MaRa’s astrologers Wimalburuwansa, Athena Methana Ratna Thero and Udayan Ganapathipilla.

    • 0
      1

      Right now it is Covid 19 that makes the decisions which are binding Not the Supreme Court or the AG

  • 13
    0

    Given the current condition, it is the.miral duty of the President to revoke.thr Gazzete notification of dissolution of the Parliament and reconvene the Parliament.
    It the fault on the part of Mahonda Deshapriya not to have advised the President no to to dissolve the Parliament as advised by the other two Commissioners.
    Has the President any respect.for law. I am sure he does not have. Only respect he has is for millitary rule which he.got the taste when he was conducting the war in the most state terrorist manner with the connivance of the world’s terrorists states like US and India.
    If we.broke the constitution what is the problem as.we have not.done it before

  • 21
    15

    This guy is a joker, trying to far exceed his role.
    \
    As election commissioner, his role is to run elections efficiently whenever the government announces them.
    \
    But he is going in to constitutional matters that are no business of his. Probablyhe is being led by thenose by that Hoole character who hs infiltrated the system.
    \
    Who does he think he is? The president should ignore the bloody letter.

    • 7
      0

      Adrian!
      You are talking through your hat. It is the duty of every citizen to talk and act in terms of the constitution. Any citizen can get a ruling from the constitutional court on matters not very clear. But it is Not Clear that the judges will not be guided by the Rajapakse brothers. They may even rule as to when the Corona Virus should end.
      If the judiciary is independent, as a body, they could have expressed their disappointment against the release of murderer Sergent by the President.

  • 7
    0

    We need a responsible government that can be trusted by the citizens asap. Those running the system appear to me as jail birds on bail or corrupt officials rejected by SC thanks to some corrupt judges. Mako has done his duty.

  • 6
    0

    This bears correction:
    “In a previous communique dated 31st March 2020, the Chairman Deshapriya stipulated that (as per the Constitution) the new Parliament should convene at least on 1st April 2020.”
    I think it should have been before 2 June.
    I did not see this communique to make input. The Constitution actually does not deal with specific dates but says the new Parliament must meet within three months of dissolution. The Parliament having been dissolved on 2 March, the new Parliament must meet before 2 June.

    • 2
      0

      “The Parliament having been dissolved on 2 March, the new Parliament must meet before 2 June.”
      The point is, whether a non-existent body can meet, regardless of what the Constitution says?

  • 4
    0

    With all the twists and turns we are seeing in the political circles. Even if the Govt approaches the Supreme Court for opinion, the questions that would be asked by the President would be worded in such a way to seek bebefit for Rajapakse rule and not for the benefit of the country.

    Government of Sri Lanka or for that matter the Parliament includes the Opposition as well. Hence, its in order for the Leader of the Opposition – Sajith Premadasa too to ask the Supreme Court for its opinion. Why is he not doing before the President does? Its a time for Sajith to show leadership. We all know what Deal Ranil will do!

    • 0
      2

      Leadership? Sajith? … You make me laugh, Buddhist!

  • 0
    0

    A real test of power between the President and the pandemic.

  • 5
    0

    The Elections Commission of Sri Lanka has done well. Urgent action is required to ensure our country continues functioning as a Parliamentary Democracy.

  • 4
    0

    His Masters Voice, that Legal Ignoramus,,self appointed topmost Legal Luminary, Udaya Gammanpila has voiced the Presidents view on the subject. No need to seek the ruling of the Supreme Court!
    SJ has posed the question whether the AG, or the CJ rule when the Covid-19 Pandemic shall end.
    This too will be decided by the President; After all another mouthpiece Wimal Weerawanse has proclaimed that the war against the Covid-19 will be won on the same lines the LTTE was defeated.

    • 2
      0

      Plato,
      As we all know the legal knowledge of Gon-man-pilla and bad mouth We-ra-wansa. These are the two who advocated the 52 days illegal rule. Also Gon-man is the one who forged share transfer documents with a bogus power of attorney. If Sri Lankans listen to them that would be the Corona for the country as a whole.

  • 0
    0

    Unprecedented Public Health crisis in globe by unmatch and undeliverable by mishandling of Rich Nations of Coronavirus has certain features thetrean to death of mankind in world-wide .
    As nation we wanted get out of this ongoing tragedy of our country of that 22 millions of People of Island Nation
    We wanted postpone General election until year 2025. Why is that because membres of UNP, SLFP, JVP, TNA, Muslim Congress, Tamils of UP country and other Muslim MP in majority Parliament are nexus to many corrupations scandals by political terrorism …in 2019 April 21 Islam terrorist attacked . Killed by Muslim Terrorist of 300 citizens of Islands and casualties came to 500 to 600 citizens. The justice has nowhere for victims ? ISlamic terrorist are FREE of Charge all over the island . UNP TNA JVP and Muslim terrorist had no Accountability of 19/21/4 Terror attacked ?

    Then those Prailmentries are worst corrupted lot of men and women out of 225 of 80% percent. We do not wanted regain or re-elected same lot of persons by different political parties to New Parliment.

    President of Gotabya Rajapaksa is Non Politician ,he can run this nation by 2019 November 16tth mandate for FIVE Year Term until 2025. GR is dong an excellent Job fighting which combat Coronavirus with Good Team of Professional and Security Forces and Good Adminsateros of with experienced persons.

    Nevertheless to say that we as citizens wanted country bailout from ongoing catastrophe of Island citizens by GR leadership

  • 0
    0

    No person can be predicts of end of day of Coronavirus. Its depend on how we are successfully combating this particular VIRUS which depend on progressive of work of according to complex that Research and Development done by Medical Scientist. ..other Virologist.
    Indeed this Virus has enter into New area to be required more than expected of that matter of time. Which is required and demand for in depth research and clinical practices by Doctors and other professional persons….in time to come@
    Well, sound democracy need more time for very healthy environment for country incoming Parliamentary election.The date of Election will decide by People are without fear of Coronavirus. That is simple fact be realized by national political parties and their classes as well as persons who played leading role of Politician of ours Nation.Which I call national interest of whole country look-after by leaders of Nations who are irrespective of political ideologies,policies and organizations.
    The Membres of Election Commission are fully Dark on Medical sector of diagnosis and its development .
    Ongoing Coronavirus that Globally impact and effects has been thetrean to very survival to the Human Life; it has been discarded by the Members EC of including Chairman of Commission. What is to be done by Supreme Court has to do with Coronavirus? Are they having problem to resolving that issue ? Chairmen of EC is fully ignorant of world-wide ongoing Survival of Fitters!@
    One Tamil membre of EC having own political agenda for Federalism or Separatism of which political division of Island for “NEW Tamil Capitalism “State in Sri Lanka.
    As member of EC ,that this man aim of task has been different from EC perespartaive of from that the vital interest of Sovereignty Right of voters of People of Islandres He running for an opposite direction solution while face by nation currently ?

  • 0
    0

    Glad to hear Dr P. B. Jayasundera has put this Deshapriya guy in his place!
    }
    He carries on like an unguided missile, hitting at any and everything in his path.
    }
    As election commissioner in 2015 he raided TV stations and became a main pusher behind the 2015 yamapalana movement. Later he seem to turn against them, probably frustrated by no elections to push his ego.
    }
    He seems to be frustrated again by the virus because he can’t have the wank of an election, and he is hitting at things.
    }
    Someone had to put him back in his box, and thank you Mr Jayasundera.

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