By Chandani Kirinde
The Election Commission, which met yesterday, decided to postpone the issuing of the Gazette notification bearing the names and preferential number of candidates contesting the upcoming General Election until the Supreme Court rules on the Fundamental Rights petitions filed challenging the date of the election.
EC sources said the Commission decided to await the Court ruling, as issuing of preferential numbers would result in the candidates beginning their campaigns when there was uncertainty over the election date.
The Supreme Court on Monday fixed 18 and 19 May to consider the seven Fundamental Rights petitions that have been filed challenging the Gazette Notification setting 20 June as the date of the Parliamentary Election.
With the EC decision to await the Court ruling, it is unlikely the election will be held on 20 June, as the Parliamentary Election Act stipulates a minimum of five weeks for campaigning for a Parliamentary Election.
Meanwhile the EC also met with representatives of political parties contesting the poll last afternoon, where United National Party General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam requested that the EC announce their decision regarding the date of the upcoming General Election.
He requested that the Election Commission use its authority and, in consultation with the Health Ministry, decide regarding the election in a manner that will not endanger the lives of the citizens of Sri Lanka.