Having three members ensures diversity of opinion in Election Commission – Deshapriya

Mahinda Deshapriya

The whole purpose of having three members on the election commission was to accommodate a diversity of opinion, head of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday said during a TV talk show.

Responding to a question posed on different opinions between the three commissioners, Deshapriya said that “If there was no need to accommodate a diversity of opinion, the CC could have appointed three people like me, three people like Nalin Abeyasekera PC or three people like Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole. But three people who think differently were appointed to have three opinions; that was the purpose,” he said.

Deshapriya added that all three commissioners had unanimously agreed about the issues surrounding the coming general election on almost all things except the gazette issued by the President dissolving parliament.

“When this was discussed Nalin Abeyasekera PC and I thought this was beyond our purview. Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole thought that Parliament should be recalled. But at the Commission, the majority decision is the decision of the commission. There is no need for all of us to have the same opinion,” he said.

Deshapriya said that they had received health ministry guidelines on holding elections and that they plan to hold the general election between 9 and 11 weeks.

“Unless something drastic happens we will try to hold the election as soon as possible. There is no reason for us to delay the election because our tenure ends on November 12. We will all go home,” he said.

The head of the election commission also commented on the decision taken by Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole to go before courts during the constitutional crisis in late 2018. “In 2018 when he wanted to go to court, I opposed that and he told me that his conscience compelled him to do so. It’s my principal to never oppose a person who acts according to their conscience.”

(Source: The Island)