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'Provincial elections will only be held after electoral reform' - Sri Lankan Media minister

Sri Lanka's Media Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, speaking at weekly press briefing has stated that the country's long-delayed provincial elections will only be held after a "suitable election system has been decided upon". 

The statement comes despite reported Indian pressure to hold the polls before the end of the year.

The provincial council system was introduced through the 1987 Indo-Lanka accord aiming to devolve power to the provinces across the island. However, successive Sri Lankan governments have failed to fully incorporate the Indo-Lanka accord and the provincial council set up, rejecting many facets of it by not devolving land and police powers to each province.

In 2006, Sri Lanka's supreme court struck down a merger of the Northern and Eastern province - a key aspect of the accord, which called it the "historical habitation" of the Tamil people.

Alahapperuma further said that the current system for provincial council elections which will be based on a 60 percent electoral system and a 40 percent representative system is a "joke to the entire world". 

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka’s war crimes accused president announced that a new constitution and electoral system for the island “will be delivered within the next year”, in a speech he delivered to the Gajaba Regiment to mark the army’s 72nd anniversary.

Read more at Economynext

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