Elections Commissions Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya today said he would resign from his post if the government fails to hold the Provincial Council election before November 10.
Addressing a press conference at his office in Colombo, Deshapriya said he would resign from his office as an act of protest. “I did not discuss this with my family nor have I discussed the matter with other two members of the commission. But, I have decided that I will not continue in office if the Provincial Councils are not held before November 10.”
“Mahinda Dehsapriya too is a citizen. My heart also hurts when elections are delayed unnecessarily,” Dehsapriya said, adding that he could not discharge his duties with a clear conscience when lawmakers continuously delay elections.
“When I talked about the delay with some political parties, they said they would hold elections according to their own agendas. I don’t want to hold elections to serve the agendas of political service. They can fulfil their agendas with another chairman heading the Commission,” a deeply frustrated Deshapriya said.
“It’s not very hard to replace me. There are two other members of the Commission. The moment I step down, one of them will become the Chairman of the Commission.”
He also criticized the conduct of political parties when it comes to holding Provincial Court elections. “They bash the Elections Commission at press conferences for delaying elections. But when the matter is taken up in Parliament, they don’t want to engage in the debates. They only want the Elections Commission to work according to their whims and fancies.”
The Elections Commission Chairman also added that he was not in a position to go to the Supreme Court against delaying elections, as there are no constitutional provisions to support his case. “I can’t go to the Supreme Court as the Elections Commission Chairman. But a citizen, as an aggrieved party, can do so,” Deshapriya explained.