Upon scrutinizing the results of the concluded elections to Local Government Authorities (LGA), Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has discovered that at least 160 of the 340 LGA’s have been returned with no party or independent group establishing a majority of seats – a hung result.
Against this backdrop, TISL wishes to bring to the attention of the public and the authorities concerned the provisions for hung results, as contained in section 66C of the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance. In such circumstances, elected members at the first meeting of the council must choose from among themselves the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the respective councils.
If contested by more than one individual it will go to a vote. This provides ample opportunity for council level “deal making” which will significantly test the control of party central committees on their respective local authority members. It will also bring into question whether the party with the greatest seats, but not a majority, is able to establish control of the authority.
Commenting on the issue, TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere said, “As a result of the postponement of elections, the public have been denied representation at the local government level for over 2 years, seriously hampering access to public services. At this juncture, it is crucial that the delivery of public services takes precedence over political horse trading”.
Given the lessons of recent history through the spate of irregular and at times criminal incidents involving Local Government leaders, TISL calls upon the recently elected members to fulfill the mandate given to them by the people and appoint individuals with proven integrity and dedication to delivering public services, to positions of local leadership.