The Election Commission has sought an explanation from the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration about the letter he had sent to Returning Officers with regard to the local government election.
Accordingly, ministerial secretary Neil Bandara Hapuhinna, who was summoned by the election body today, has apologized if any inconvenience caused by the said letter.
On January 09, Hapuhinna, in a letter addressed to all Returning Officers, instructed them to stop accepting the deposits placed by the candidates for the local government election, until further notice, citing a decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, in a video statement issued the following day, slammed the efforts to postpone the local government election and called on the government not to play with the people’s right to vote.
Hapuhinna, who found himself in hot water over the matter, recalled the letter just a day after it was issued.
Later, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) also condemned the move, stressing that any attempt to interfere with the exercise of the franchise and any attempt to prevent people from exercising their sovereign right to choose their representatives is a “blatant attack” on the rule of law and democracy of Sri Lanka.