Election body says it cannot intervene to resolve SLFP’s infighting

Election body says it cannot intervene to resolve SLFP’s infighting

April 19, 2024   11:22 am

The Election Commission says it has no legal authorization to intervene to resolve the internal rifts of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

Members of the election body convened a meeting on Thursday (18) to study the documents submitted by the factions within the SLFP with regard to the recent changes made to the party positions.

When the SLFP’s politburo met on 08 April under the patronage of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, the party’s incumbent Vice Chairman MP Nimal Siripala de Silva was appointed the new Acting President, and MP Duminda Dissanayake was selected as the General Secretary.

These appointments came days after the Colombo District Court issued an enjoining order preventing former President Maithripala Sirisena from functioning as the SLPF chairman, following a complaint filed by Kumaratunga. This court order was later extended until 09 May.

The documents pertaining to these new appointments were handed over to the Election Commission by MP Dissanayake while the party’s Acting General Secretary Sarathi Dushmantha Mithrapala filed objections challenging them.

When the Election Commission met on Thursday, the submitted materials were extensively reviewed by the members, who were of the view that the party’s infighting should be resolved through the courts, as the election body has no authorization to do so under the existing legal scope and procedures.

Pointing out that it can neither intervene nor take action regarding the internal crises of any political party, the election body members noted that they can, however, decide on accepting the nominations to SLFP candidates if the party’s infighting is dragged out until after the elections are declared.

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