Mahinda P. LiyanageGalle
Southern Provincial Councilor Jayantha Jayaweera told the media that he was going to initiate legal action in the Court of Appeal challenging the legal validity of the entire list of candidates who contested the 2015 Parliamentary election under the United People’s Freedom Alliance ticket inconsideration of the legal postulations following the Court of Appeal(CA) order issued on May 3 declaring that Galle district Parliamentarian Geetha Kumarasinghe was disqualified to be a Member of Parliament.
“According to the election law, in case of a candidate of a list is disqualified following a court order or any other lawful objection, the same directive applies all other contestants of the respective list. Hence, according to the Court of Appeal decree unseating Geetha Kumarasinghe from her Parliamentary membership the whole of the UPFA list under consideration is also legally invalid, Councilor Jayaweera argued.
In support of his argument, he further pointed out a number contemporary election history incidents including the rejection of the United National Party candidates’ list at the Colombo Municipal Council election in 2005. In that incident, one of the 58 names in the UNP list was a name of a candidate who was not over the 18 year age limit stipulated by a circular of the then Elections Commissioner based on the election law.
“At present, I am consulting our lawyers regarding the matter and studying the finer legal points over the issue. However, our lawyers assured that there is enough favourable grounds for us to initiate legal proceedings regarding the matter, Jayaweera further said.
In the event of an order is delivered disqualifying the whole UPFA Galle district list of candidates that contested at the previous Parliamentary election according to the aggregates of votes obtained by each party,a number of UNP MP’s will be increased up to 9 and the Janatha Vimukthti Peramuna will get one seat in Parliament.
In the 2017 General Election, the UPFA obtained 312,518 votes securing 50.07% of the total number of valid votes while the UNP received 265,180 votes which was 42.48% of the total number of registered voters.The JVP received only 37,778 votes with a voter percentage of 6.05. Accordingly, 6 members were elected to Parliament from UPFA together with four UNP members.