October 19, 2021
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    SC orders conduct of Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha elections

    August 31, 2019

    The Supreme Court has ordered the conduct of long delayed elections for the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha. The elections to this local government body were delayed in 2018 after the Supreme Court at that time had issued an Interim Order halting it when one contesting political party filed action due to the non-recognition of their nomination papers.

    National Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said they hope to hold an election for the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha in the first week of October.The Court yesterday issued a writ of mandamus directing the Galle District Elections Returning Officer to fix a date of poll for the election of members of the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabhawa.

    A three-judge Supreme Court bench, comprising Justices Prasanna Jayawardena PC, L.T.B. Dehidenya and E.A.G.R. Amarasekera made this order pursuant to a writ petition filed by “Prajathanthravadi Eksath Jathika Peramuna” (Democratic United National Front).On January 30, 2018 the Supreme Court had issued an Interim Order preventing the Election Commission from proceeding with the holding of the election to the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha, until the final determination of this writ petition. The nomination papers handed by the Democratic United National Front (DUNF) were rejected for the reason that they have been handed over by a person who is not the authorized agent.

    The Supreme Court further issued an order in the nature of writs of certiorari quashing the decision made on December 21, 2017 to reject the Nomination Paper delivered to the Galle District returning officer by the petitioner as the authorised agent of the Democratic United National Front. Accordingly, the Supreme Court also issued a writ of mandamus directing the Galle District returning officer to accept as valid the Nominations Paper delivered to the respondent by the petitioner as the authorised agent of the Democratic United National Front.

    The Democratic United National Front (DUNF) was founded in 1990 by a group of United National Party dissidents. The party was led by late Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake. Three petitioners, members of DUNF, Vithanage Ariyaratne, Thilak Opatha, and Ariyawansa Dissanayake (party secretary) had filed this petition naming the Assistant Commissioner of Elections (Galle District), Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya and several others as respondents.

    The petitiners sought an order in the nature of writ of Mandamus directing the Returning Officer appointed for the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha to accept the nomination paper delivered to the Election Officer by the authorised agent of the DUNF for the election of members to the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha.

    President’s Counsel Srinath Perera appeared for the petitioners. Deputy Solicitor General Viveka Siriwardena appeared for the Election Commission.

     

     

     

     

     

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