JVP challenges Government to tell people why it put off local polls

Tilvin Silva

The JVP yesterday (11) urged the government to tell the people why it had postponed the local government elections by one year.

Addressing the media at the party headquarters in Pelawatte, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said: “Delaying elections amounts to denying the people’s franchise. The government got its Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister to issue a special gazette on 09 Jan. extending the time of local government bodies by one more year. Accordingly, the term of local government bodies has been extended from 19 March, 2022 to 19 March, 2023. As per the new order, the terms of 24 municipal councils, 41 urban councils and 275 pradeshiya sabhas will be extended by one more year.

“The main question with this extension of time is as to why the government made that decision. It has to tell the people why it has denied their right to vote by one more year. As per the Local Government Act, the Minister has powers to extend the time of local government bodies by one year. That power is given with the expectation that he would do so because of a valid reason. The government’s fear of facing elections cannot be considered a valid reason,” Silva said.

He said that the government was aware of the fact that it had lost popularity. “The government will not be able to get the same amount of votes it had garnered at the last local government election four years back. It had received 6.9 million votes at the last presidential election. It had obtained enough votes to form a government with a two third majority at the last general election. The government cannot repeat the same performance with the public displeasure against it. If the government goes for an election right now it is certain that it will suffer an ignominious defeat. The government cannot suffer such a loss two years after its formation. Therefore it has postponed the elections,” Silva said.

(Source: The Island – By Saman Indrajith)