Director General of Elections M.K. Saman Sri Rathnayake told media yesterday that the date of nominations for the Presidential election could be announced at any time between September 20 and October 15.
Mr. Rathnayake also said that the issue of filling of the Parliamentary seat that fell vacant after the death of Kurunegala District MP Salinda Dissanayake, has been referred to the District Returning Officer following advice by the Attorney General. He said the returning officer has to inform the name of the politicians nominated to fill the vacancy created by the demise of Dissanayake to the Elections Commission by the 13th of this month.
United People’s Freedom Alliance MP Salinda Dissanayake died on August 5, 2019 and according to the election law, the person, who is next in line on the list of Preferential Votes should be appointed. Shantha Bandara is the person who has obtained the next highest number of Preferential Votes in the Kurunegala district UPFA list. However, he was nominated to Parliament on the National List and after Dissanayake’s death, Bandara resigned from his Parliamentary seat with the hope of entering Parliament through the district list.
The decision by Bandara ignited a debate as to who should be nominated because at the time when the Dissanayake died, Bandara was already a Parliamentarian. So some argued that D. B. Herath who is the next in line at the time should be appointed.
The Election Commission consulted the Attorney General for advice on the dispute over nominating a member for the vacant position.