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TNA wants Tigers for local elections
By Shelani Perera
The Tamil National Alliance is demanding fresh nominations for local government elections for the northern and eastern provinces in an apparent move to accommodate some LTTE cadres in the nomination lists.

Assistant Elections Commissioner M. C. Arunthavachelvam told The Sunday Times that the elections, postponed from March, had been scheduled for September 25 and could not be put off again. Nominations for the elections in the northeast had already been accepted.

"The Elections Ordinance does not permit the postponement of the polls for the second time. If we are to postpone, the Act has to be amended by parliament," he said.

The amendment can be passed by a simple majority. The elections were due to be held in March after nominations for it were accepted, but have been postponed for September after the ballot papers were also printed.

TULF General Secretary R Sambanthan told The Sunday Times that just as the Government postponed the elections, nominations should be nullified and fresh ones called for.

Mr. Sambanthan said there was a possibility that the LTTE would also contest the elections if fresh nominations were called. The TNA has also questioned the prudence of holding elections next month at a time when peace talks were being held.

The EPDP, however, strongly opposed the call by the TNA for fresh nominations . EPDP Parliamentarian S. Sivathasan said the government should go ahead with the local polls to ensure democratic representation.

The EPRLF has called on the Government to postpone the elections until the peace talks are held as it believes the polls might complicate the talks.

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