Image: Chairperson of EC says he is powerless!
Sri Lanka government has gazetted draft 20th amendment to the constitution in order to postpone 3 provincial council elections due in October this year.
The proposed amendment says that “Section 10 of the Provincial Councils Elections Act, No. 2 of 1988 is hereby amended in subsection (1) of that section, by the substitution for the words and figures from “Within one week” to “an election to such Council.”, of the words and figures “Within one week from the date specified in terms of Article 154DD of the Constitution, the Commissioner shall publish a notice of his intention to hold an election to all Provincial Councils.”.
“The election of members to all Provincial Councils shall be held on the same date and the Parliament shall determine the date on which all the Provincial Councils shall stand dissolved (in this Chapter referred to as the “specified date”): Provided that, such specified date shall not be later than the expiration of the term of the last constituted Provincial Council.”
Last Provincial Council election was held in September 2014 in the Uva province. its desolation in on September 2019.
The amendment if pass by the parliament will have the powers to take over the any Provincial Council in case of its dissolution due to any other reason other than ending its term.
Here is the relevant clause: “In the event of dissolution of any Provincial Council by reason of the operation of the provisions of sub-paragraph (c) of paragraph (8) of Article 154B or by any other reason specified in any law, the powers of such Provincial Council shall be exercised by the Parliament until the specified date and the provisions of Articles 154L and 154M shall, mutatis mutandis apply in relation to the exercise of powers of the Provincial Council.”
This means if a provincial council is defeated in a no confidence motion or election petition there will be no by election. In such a eventuality the parliament will run the Provincial Council. This clause completely negate the meaning of power sharing.
Here are the Gazette issued on 3rd Aug 2017 and dated 28th July 2017: