Sri Lanka's Election Commission postpones postal voting for local polls

Sri Lanka's election body on Thursday postponed the postal voting for the local body polls scheduled to take place next month due to a severe paucity of funds

Press Trust of India Colombo
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Sri Lanka's election body on Thursday postponed the postal voting for the local body polls scheduled to take place next month due to a severe paucity of funds.

The local body polls, which were earlier scheduled on March 9, got postponed to April 25, due to a plethora of reasons linked to Sri Lanka's current economic crisis.

The Election Commission Director General Saman Sri Ratnayake on Wednesday met representatives of all the political parties seeking their opinion on whether postal voting should be postponed.

Ratnayake said all the parties have agreed that the dates for postal voting should be finalised only after the allocated funds are released by the Treasury.

Following the meeting with all the representatives of the political parties, the Election Commission has decided not to hold postal voting for the local body polls, which were scheduled to take place between March 28 to April 3.

Ratnayake added that a fresh date for the postal voting will be announced soon.

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Earlier this month, the Sri Lanka government's printer Gangani Liyanage said the inability to print ballot papers to conduct postal voting from February 21 to 24 caused the Elections Commission to postpone the elections.

Liyanage said that by the time the elections were postponed, she had only received Rs 40 million out of the estimated full cost of Rs 500 million from the Treasury.

The election to appoint new administrations to 340 local councils for a four-year term was postponed since March last year due to the ongoing economic crisis.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday approved a USD 3 billion bailout programme to help debt-ridden Sri Lanka overcome its economic crisis and catalyse financial support from other development partners, a move welcomed by Colombo as a "historic milestone" in the critical period.

Sri Lanka was hit by an unprecedented financial crisis in 2022, the worst since its independence from Britain in 1948, due to a severe paucity of foreign exchange reserves, sparking political turmoil in the island nation.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Topics : sri lanka

First Published: Mar 23 2023 | 9:25 PM IST

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