New election law to be amended to avert lapses - NEC Chairman | Daily News

New election law to be amended to avert lapses - NEC Chairman

Chairman of the National Elections Commission (EC) Nimal G. Punchihewa yesterday said that the Commission has already identified the lapses that lie in the way to ensure free and fair election and the new election law will be amended to avert these lapses.

Punchihewa added that a large number of employees are denied their right to franchise on Election Day and doctors, nurses and media persons are among them.

The Commission Chairman expressed these views after receiving the blessings of the Mahanayake Theras of the Asgiriya and Malwatte Chapters in Kandy yesterday.

He said that amendments will be brought to the voting process enabling the employees of various categories to cast their vote in advance.

“The Commission expects to implement this mechanism by the end of this year,” he added.

He said that the Commission is in the process of formulating a mechanism aiming at controlling wasteful expenditure during elections.

A Bill allowing youths who have just completed 18 years of age to exercise their franchise is to be adopted in Parliament.

He added that the Elections Commission has short term and long term plans and the Commission has requested Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee for the implementation of these plans.

“The Prime Minister has already agreed to our request. All Provincial Councils are functioning as usual. The funds are being allocated to the provincial ministries also,” he said.

However, Punchihewa said that the functioning of a Provincial Council without a people’s representative is against the democratic norms and practices and the Commission is of the view that the Provincial Council election should be held soon.

“It is up to the Government to take a decision with regard to the abolition of Provincial Councils,” he said.