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PM’s call for bond scam debate: EC faces dilemma

Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday that he was in a dilemma over the move by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to call for a Parliamentary debate on February 8 on the two reports – one on the Central Bank’s bond
scam and the other on serious frauds allegedly committed during the former rule.

The Prime Minister said on Saturday that he would request Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to call for a special session of Parliament to have this debate.

In a hurriedly summoned press conference, Mr Deshapriya said yesterday the day, identified for the debate, would fall within the "silence period" of the Local Authorities Elections.

He said all propaganda activities would be barred during the period ahead of the day of polling.

He said Parliamentary debate on a topic, with electoral sensitivity could have a bearing on the parties and groups in the fray.

However, he said he had no authority or moral right to overrule the Supremacy of Parliament.

“The Elections Commission cannot think of doing it even. There is no provision for it,” he said.

He said he was at a loss under these circumstances.

The Elections Commission will meet soon to take a decision in this regard.

The Prime Minister’s decision for a special Parliamentary session came in the wake of President Maithripala Sirisena speaking of ‘An unholy alliance of bandits’ to cover up their frauds and corruption by postponing the debate on the bond scam and the other report.

The President said both the political factions would get exposed in the event of such a debate. (By Kelum Bandara)

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