Executive Director of the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), Rohana Hettiarachchi, today filed a Special Determination Petition in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the private member’s bills presented to Parliament by SLPP Parliamentarian Jayantha Ketagoda to re-convene the dissolved Local Government Authorities without holding elections.

Parliamentarian Jayantha Ketagoda had brought a Private Member Bill titled “A Bill to Amend the Municipal Councils Ordinance (Chapter 252),” and it was published as a supplement to the Gazettes of June 26, 2023.

The petitioner stated that the proposed bill purports to postpone the election of the Municipal Councils without a specific date being mentioned. He further states that the purported amendment is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution, which is the fundamental law of the country.

The Petitioner stated that the proposed Bill sets a bad precedent as it creates a risk of abusing the legal framework to prevent holding timely elections, including national elections, and can lead to people losing faith in the entire democratic system in the country.

Through this petition, the petitioner is seeking a declaration that the bill requires the approval of the people at a Referendum in addition to the 2/3 approval of the Parliament.