Election monitoring body the People’s Action for a Free and Fair Election says doubts have arisen over whether the postponement of the Local Authorities Election is politically motivated.
Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi when contacted by NewsRadio said PAFFREL is of the view that elections must be conducted on time.
Hettiarachchi said the government is delaying the conduct of the election citing the coronavirus pandemic.
He added PAFFREL is not questioning the right and the power the subject Minister has in enforcing such a decision.
However, Hettiarachchi said such a move deprives the public’s right to elect leaders and claimed that even amidst the more severe first wave of the coronavirus pandemic the Parliamentary Election was conducted.
Therefore, he questioned if the real reason for the delay was the economic and coronavirus situation in the country.
He added previous governments have also delayed elections or have held elections when it deems fit for politicians.
Terms of Municipal Councils, Urban Councils and Pradeshiya Sabha were extended until the 19th of March, 2023.
The Extraordinary Gazette notification to extend the term of local government bodies was issued by the Minister of Public Services, Provincial Councils & Local Government Janaka Bandara Tennakoon exercising the powers vested in him by the Municipal Council Ordinance, Urban Council Ordinance and Pradeshiya Sabha Act on Monday night.