By Zacki Jabbar
Member of the Election Commission (EC) Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole while admitting that fixing a new date for the General Election due to the crisis perpetrated by the oronavirus disease was the function of the EC, says that averting a Constitutional crisis is in the hands of the President.
Disagreeing with the position taken by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that there was no need to refer the question of when the postponed April 25th Parliamentary Polls can be held to the Supreme Court in terms of Article 29 of the Constitution, Hoole pointed out yesterday, that it was only the President who could seek the opinion of the Apex Court on this matter and as such, the duty cast on him was much more than on others.
He said that if the EC on its own went ahead and fixed a new date for the election in the current situation, people would out of fear for the Coronavirus not go to vote or if they did, it would result in the virus spreading further.
Alternatively, there could be a situation where MPs get elected with a handful of votes as happened in the 1990’s, when some EPDP candidates entered Parliament having received less than ten votes as a result of the LTTE warning people who exercised their franchise with death, Hoole noted.
Note: This article was originally published by The Island Newspaper from Colombo