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* Sri Lanka Election Commissioner clarifies decision to postpone elections for some local government bodies
Sun, Feb 27, 2011, 10:41 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 27, Colombo: The decision to postpone polls of 64 local government bodies was taken not to create an advantage or a disadvantage to any political party or an independent group, Sri Lanka's Election Commissioner Dayananda Dishanayake said today.

Issuing a special announcement the Election Commissioner has said the decision was taken according to the prevailing situation due to the courts cases pending on them.

The Commissioner has stressed that the Department of Elections does not favor any political party or a group at any instance.

According to Dishanayake, parties and independent groups have filed petitions in the court of appeals against the rejection of nominations for the 64 local government bodies and those are currently being reviewed.

The Election Commissioner has also pointed out that issuing of postal vote cards cannot be postponed since the handing over of official poll cards to the Postal Department and the distribution of poll cards should be carried out simultaneously.

Ballet papers for the postal votes were issued on February 25th and the marking of postal votes will take place on March 8th and 9th.

The distribution of poll cards can be disrupted if the postal vote cards are not issued as scheduled, the Commissioner has cautioned.

If the marking of postal votes could not be conducted on the scheduled dates they will not be able to re–obtain before the 17th of March, the statement said.

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