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JVP says govt. has enough funds for elections

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By Saman Indrajith

The JVP would file a fresh application before the Supreme Court against the government for not holding the local council polls, JVP MP Vijitha Herath said yesterday.Addressing the media at the party headquarters in Pelawatte, Herath said that his party had ascertained fresh information by invoking the Right to Information Act about the funds needed for the holding of the elections and his party would file another fundamental rights case against those responsible for conducting elections.

“The LG polls were to be held on 09 March. They were postponed until 25 April, and later they were put off indefinitely. The President appoints Governors to the provinces and the local councils are under them. Now, he says no party commands the support of 50 percent of voters.

Is this reason why he is not holding elections? His claim that there are no funds for elections is not acceptable. The Election Commission (EC) has, in a letter to the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, asked for Rs 1,100 million in installments for conducting local government elections. The Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, on 07 March, informed

the EC that the latter’s request had been referred to the Minister of Finance on the same day. But so far the money has not been released. As per a report released by the Treasury, the government revenue was Rs 177,900 million in January this year alone. Of that amount, Rs 156,760 was allocated to government institutions. The Treasury has Rs 21,410 million. In February, the government revenue was at Rs. 271,750 million and of that Rs. 208,620 million was spent. The balance was Rs 63,130 million. In January and February, the Treasury had Rs 84,270 million. These figures have been officially confirmed by a Deputy Treasury Secretary. The EC is seeking only Rs 2,460 million for elections. So, the claim that there is no money for elections is false as per official records. We will submit this information to the Supreme Court when we file a fresh application. We will prove that the government has lied to people,” Herath said.

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