Background of the NP, NWP and CP Provincial Election
President Mahinda Rajapaksa issued a proclamation ordering the ElectionCommissioner to conduct elections for the Northern Provincial Council on July 5,2013. On the same day Central and Northwestern Provincial Councils were alsodissolved by their governors.This is the first time a provincial council election is held in a de-merged NorthernProvince, although elections were held in the area as a part of the merged NorthEastern Province on November 19, 1988. The two provinces were de-merged onJanuary 1, 2007 after the Supreme Court, ruled on October 16, 2006 that theproclamations issued by President Jayewardene were null and void and had no legaleffect.One of the striking aspects between the day of nominations and August 21 is thatcomplaints of misuse of public property received by CaFFE, other election monitorsand the Department of Elections were higher than other election related offences.Several factors have contributed to this development, among which the climate of impunity and the high number of candidates from political families playing a key role. With the dissolution, the Provincial Councils of Central and Northwestern Provincesare no longer functioning and the administration of the province is under the purview of the Governor and the Chief Secretary of the province. According to election laws, after a Provincial Council is dissolved the Ministers andmembers of the provincial councils are to hand over mobile and immobile assetsprovided by the council to facilitate their activities to serve the people. These include vehicles, official residences, equipment, stationary, furniture, electricity,communications and other amenities. However, in elections CaFFE had monitored, ithas not observed any action by the Governor and the Chief Secretary of the provincestaking any meaningful and systematic action to re-acquire these assets. Unfortunately CaFFE witnessed a similar course of action by Governors and Chief Secretaries of Central and Northwestern Provinces in the run up to September’s Provincial CouncilElections. This climate of impunity has encouraged and enhanced the misuse of publicproperty.
Relatives Business Partners: Causing Abuse”
Another factor contributing to the misuse of public property is that a large number of relatives of government ministers, MPs, provincial councilors, former councilors andPradesheeya Sabha members are contesting in the Central and Northwestern