The Government Printer Gangani Liyanage has declared that it was already too late to keep to the printing schedule of ballot papers inorder to conduct postal voting later this month.
Ms Liayage told Timesonline that her Department has requested for Rs 500 million to go ahead with the printing of election material, but so far they have received only Rs 40 million which was not sufficient.
She said, accordingly the ballot papers will not be ready for the postal voting to be held between March 28 to 31.
Her comments came as the Election Commission too was awaiting a positive response from the Treasury for the funds for the elections.
Chairman Election Commission Nimal Punchihewa said they were expecting Rs 500 million for the elections by next Wednesday and another Rs 600 million by the end of the month.
Mr Punchihewa said, if funds are not received by mid next week, the Commission would have to meet to decide on fresh dates for the postal voting.
He said, however, if the release of funds are delayed beyond March 20 they would have keep the courts informed about the decision.
Meanwhile the Opposition have expressed fears that the question of privilege raised by SLPP MP Premanath C. Dolawatte regarding the Supreme Court’s interim order on the Treasury Secretary which has been referred by Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to Parliament’s Committee on Ethics and Privileges may stand in the way of the conducting the election on schedule.
Deputy Speaker Ajith Rajapake confirmed yesterday that the matter has been referred to the Committee.
Former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa was elected unanimously as the Chairman of the Committee on Ethics and Privileges of the Ninth Parliament on Wednesday (8).
The Supreme Court issued an interim order on March 3 on the Treasury Secretary and Attorney General prohibiting them from withholding funds earmarked for the local government election.