By Shamindra Ferdinando
National Election Commission (NEC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, yesterday, vowed to quit his post in case the powers that be blocked Provincial Council polls ahead of presidential polls later this year.
Pointing at N.J. Abeysekera (Commission member) and Prof. Rathnajeevan Hoole (Commission member) seated at the head table, Deshapriya said that one of them could replace him.
Asked by The Island whether he really believed the government would be concerned at all in his protest, Deshapriya said that he didn’t care.
Having explained discussions with President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and other concerned parties, Deshapriya said that depending on the action taken by parliament, Provincial Council polls could be preferably held in August 2019. Deshapriya explained the difficulties and impracticability in delaying Provincial Council polls further as presidential election had to be held before the first week of January 2020.
Responding to questions, Deshapriya explained that the parliament had to address this issue. It would be the responsibility of parliament to take tangible measures to facilitate much delayed Provincial Council polls.