The Elections Commission (EC) was firm to announce the presidential poll in mid-October and hold the election between November 9 and December 9, its Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said.
“According to the Constitution, the presidential poll has to be held one month preceding to the expiry of office of the incumbent President. The Constitution also says the election has to be publicized at a minimum of 15 days earlier to the nomination day,” he told.
“The Elections Commission is not destined to refer the legislature, executive or the government on matters related to the presidential election. Therefore, the Elections Commission believes to enjoy the full independence and transparency in announcing the presidential poll and other functions related to it,” he said.
However, he said the Elections Commission had to address a number of tactical issues in the middle of October before announcing nomination and election days and the duration of the election campaign. The presidential poll cannot be accompanied on a government holiday.
Remarking on the security situation in the country, he said the presidential election could not be adjourned whether or not there was emergency declared and that there was a Supreme Court ruling to this effect. “If anyone attempts to delay the election, it will not only be a crime but a destruction of the right to franchise of over 15 million voters. In the past, elections have been held while emergency was confirmed,” he said.