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Voters in Elpitiya go to polls today in electoral test ahead of Presidential Election

Over 50,000 registered voters will go to the polls today to elect members to the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) in an electoral test for the country’s three main political parties ahead of the 16 November Presidential Election.

Voting will take place at 47 polling centres to elect 28 members from 17 wards to the Elpitiya PS. Five political parties, namely the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), United National Party (UNP), Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Democratic United National Front (DUNF) and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) are contesting the election.

The Elpitiya PS election could not be held along with the island-wide Local Authorities Poll held in February last year after the Supreme Court (SC) issued an interim injunction preventing the election after considering action filed challenging the rejection of its nomination papers by one of the contesting parties.

The case concluded in August this year with the SC issuing an order quashing the Galle District Returning Officer’s decision to reject the Democratic United National Front’s (DUNF) nomination papers. Action was filed by DUNF Secretary Ariyawansha Dissanayake and two others.

The SC also directed the National Election Commission (NEC) to hold the election for the Elpitiya PS without delay.

Accordingly, Galle District Returning Officer Somarathna Vidhanapathirana issued notice under the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance to hold the election to the Elpitiya PS today in terms of the judgement in SC Writ Application No. 12/2018 of the Supreme Court.

There are 53,384 registered voters in the Elpitiya PS area.

The SLPP swept the 2018 February poll, winning 231 of the 341 local authorities with nearly 45% of the votes cast.

(ft)

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