Sri Lanka's prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe this weekend sought to assure voters that local government polls would be held by early February 2018 at the latest.
The exact date is yet to be determined, with the election commission having the final say. However, local papers have cited February 10th as the confirmed date.
"The next local government election will be actually a trial to test the effectiveness of the new mixed electoral system introduced recently and if it is a success it will be used for the Parliamentary polls as well," Mr Wickremesinghe was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying at an event on Saturday.
"The mixed electoral system was first proposed by the select committee appointed by the UNP in 2003.This committee was chaired by MP Dinesh Gunawardene. However we were not in favour of everything proposed by that committee. Therefore discussions took place and finally all the parties agreed on one system and it was unanimously passed in Parliament," he added.
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The government has faced mounting criticism over its decision to delay the local elections with opposition figures arguing the postponement was due to the fear that the former president's party would be successful.