Postponing the Local Government election sets a dangerous precedent – Colombo Archbishop

“Postponement of local government elections could be a dangerous precedent as it would eventually push the nation into a dictatorial regime. and as the Election Commission has not yet announced that the election will not be held, people are eagerly waiting for the decision of the Supreme Court tomorrow,” said Father Cyril Gamini Fernando, the media spokesman in the Colombo Archdiocese.

Father Cyril Gamini Fernando said so at the press conference held at the Archbishop’s House yesterday – 21st February to announce the opinion of the Catholic Church over the attempt by some responsible officers of the government to postpone the local government election.

The special statement issued by the Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith over the crisis situation that has arisen based on the local government election, read by Father Cyril Gamini Fernando the media spokesman of the Colombo Archdiocese.

Father Cyril Gamini stated that it seems that some government officials are trying to prevent the local government elections announced to be held on March 9, 2023. According to the constitution, the people have the sovereignty of the country and the people have the most important and important opportunity to exercise the right of sovereignty in practice. He stated that it is the opportunity to appoint representatives according to their wishes for people’s representative administrative institutions.

He emphasized that voting is a basic human right. And “It is the duty of all political parties, civil organizations, and religious leaders to come forward for the sake of the nation,” he added.

“The postponement of the polls will result in Sri Lanka losing the confidence it has earned from the international community. We appeal to the authorities not to push the country towards a greater crisis at a time when it is hit by bankruptcy and assistance of World Bank, IMF, and the foreign nations,” Cardinal Ranjith said in his special statement.

“The franchise is a tool people use to use their sovereignty practically and is a right that they enjoy. It is the duty of the President to see that the local elections are held. If the President and the public servants fail in this exercise it would be a violation of the constitution.” Cardinal Ranjith stated in the statement.

Therefore he said that “It is the duty of all political parties, civil organizations, and religious leaders to come forward for the sake of the nation,” he added.

Also, Cardinal Ranjith said “ “We appeal to the President and the government to ensure that the local polls are held on time. We also trust that they will take steps to avoid earning a negative reputation.”

Postal voting for the Local Government election which was scheduled to take place this week has already been postponed without a fixed date. And the Local Government election is scheduled to be held on 9th March.

Mainly the Janata Vimukti Peramuna (JVP) , Civil Society organizations, university students, activists, election observers and opposition political groups, are strongly protesting against President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s various tactics to postpone the local government elections and are eagerly waiting to see what verdict the court will give tomorrow over the election of LGP.

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