Sept 13, Colombo: Chairman of Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya says the Local Government elections are likely to be held on or after January 20, 2018.
The Election Chief said it is not possible to hold elections on December 30 or 31st because state institutions carry out their audits before the turn of the year and no one will be able to take leave.
"The only other available date would be mid-January and we cannot hold the polls on that day as well because of Thai Pongal. Therefore the next available date would be January 20 next year," the Election Commission Chairman said.
"The Election Commission will decide whether it will be possible to hold the elections on January 6, 20 or 21, we like to hold the elections as soon as possible," Deshapriya said.
"However, we need to give political parties time to choose candidates. Also, according to the new Act, 25 percent of women's representation is compulsory for candidate lists. Otherwise, those lists will be rejected," he added.
The Election Commissioner said the Municipal Council, Urban Council and Pradeshiya Sasha Ordinances would have to be amended to make provisions for the 40/60 ratio under the proposed mixed system.
He also said that if the election is declared in October it has to be held in December 6 this year. However the views of the Examination Commissioner will have to be sought as the Ordinary level exam will also be held around that time.