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Has Public Administration Minister Gazetting March 17, 18 and 19 as special public holiday Rendered the March 12 to 19 Nominations Invalid?Election Commission Seeks Attorney -General’s Opinion.

The Election Commission has sought an opinion from the Attorney General on the implications of the Government declaring special public holidays during the Parliamentary elections nomination period which ended on March 19.

Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya told a meeting of political party representatives yesterday that the EC was awaiting a response from the AG’s Department.

This was after a political party representative raised issue about the declaration of holidays and whether it would apply to the validity of the nominations which have been accepted during public holidays.

Public Administration Minister Janka Bandara Tennakoon in a special gazette notification had declared three days – March 17, 18 and 19 — as special public holidays to prevent the spread the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“Since this type of incident has not occurred in the past, the Commission decided to seek the opinion from the Attorney General’s Department regarding this,” a senior official of the Commission said.

The Parliamentary election Act of 1981 says “… the period (hereinafter referred to as the “nomination period”) during which nomination papers shall be received by the returning officer during normal office hours at his office; …”

Courtesy”Sunday Times