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Can a non-Sri Lankan be a  party office-bearer? Can a non-Sri Lankan be a party office-bearer?
Oct 13, 2017

Election commission to discuss ‘Shalila issue’ Featured

The National Election Commission will meet on October 19 to decide if foreign nationals can hold chairmanship of a political party in Sri Lanka, ‘Divaina’ quotes commission chief Mahinda Deshapriya as saying.

This comes after it was revealed that New Democratic Front leader Shalila Munasinghe, presently in remand custody over a theft of from a Taiwan bank, is a British citizen by birth.

Started as the New Democratic United (Lalith) National Front in 1995, it was registered as a political party in 2009.

Munasinghe had produced a national identity card to the Elections Department and attended its meetings as the leader of the party.

But, he had never told the Department that he was a foreign national, said Deshapriya.

Maithripala Sirisena contested the last presidential election from his party, which has the ‘swan’s symbol.’

The NEC will discuss the existing law and the action to be taken, he said, adding however, it was not their responsibility to enforce or interpret the law.

The law does not permit foreign citizenship holders from contesting presidential and parliamentary elections.

Munasinghe’s British citizenship transpired at courts two days ago, with the police saying his visa to remain in Sri Lanka would expire on December 08.

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