Apr 01, 2017

Chief Ministers disregard President’s request Featured

President Maithripala Sirisena had convened a meeting at his official residence on March 27 with the Chief Ministers of the eight provinces where the SLFP holds power and suggested that they dissolve all eight Provincial Councils and hold fresh elections. However, none of the Chief Ministers had agreed to dissolving all eight Provincial Councils at once, it was revealed.  

It was also learnt that the Chief Ministers had been blaming each other and even when Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake had attempted to express his views, he was interrupted by the others and prevented from expressing his views on the issue.

Dissolve PCs in June:

However, the President had stated that in June the Sabaragamuwa, East and North Central Provincial Councils which ends its official terms in September will be dissolved in June and measures will be taken to hold elections.

Meanwhile, the official terms of Uva Province ends in September 2019, Western Province in April 2019 and Central, North and Wayamba Provinces in September 2018 and the Chief Ministers of these provinces had expressed reluctance to dissolve these PCs until the official term ends, it was said.

Expressing their views to the media subsequent to the meeting with the President the Chief Ministers said the President had advised them to be prepared to hold both the Provincial Councils and Local Government elections.

Winning is a challenge:

The President had said at the meeting that holding the Provincial Council elections in stages would be disadvantages for the SLFP and as such suggested that all PCs under the SLFP should be dissolved at the same time and fresh elections be held.

However, if the Provincial Councils are to be dissolved prior to its official term coming to an end, the approval of the Chief Ministers is vital and in the event the term of the PCs are to be extended, Parliament approval should be obtained.