LOCAL AUTHORITIES ELECTIONS ORDINANCE

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Application of Ordinance.

3. Electoral areas.

PART I

Establishment of a National Delimitation Committee

3A. Establishment of a National Delimitation Committee.

3B. The mandate of the National Committee and the report to be submitted.

3C. Notification to be published of the boundaries, names and numbers of each ward created for each local authority.

3D. Minister to alter the boundaries of any ward.

3E. Establishment of District Delimitation Committees at District level.

 

PART IA

SUPERVISING STAFF

4. Officers and staff.

5. Powers and Duties of Officers.

PART II

QUALIFICATIONS OF VOTERS AND MEMBERS, AND VACATION OF OFFICE BY MEMBERS
QUALIFICATIONS OF VOTERS

6. Disqualifications of voters.

7. Insertion of names in electoral lists of electoral areas.

8. General qualifications for membership.

9. Disqualifications for membership.

VACATION OF OFFICE

10. Vacation of membership.

10A. Vacation of office on ceasing to be member of recognised political party.

11. Penalty for acting as member after office is vacated.

PART III

DIVISION INTO POLLING DISTRICTS AND PREPARATION OF ELECTORAL LISTS
DIVISION INTO POLLING DISTRICTS

12. Parliamentary polling district deemed to be polling district for local elections.

12A. Alteration of the administrative limits of a local authority or of a ward.

PREPARATION OF LISTS

12B. Parliamentary registers to be used for local elections.

12C. Repealed.

12D. Electoral list open for inspection.

12E. District Returning Officer to correct clerical error.

12F. Application of provisions relating to preparation of lists.

13. Repealed.

14. Repealed.

15. Repealed.

NOTICE OF COMPLETION OF PREPARATION OF LISTS

16. Notice of completion of preparation of electoral lists.

CLAIMS AND OBJECTIONS

17. Claims and objections.

18. Publication and hearing of claims and objections.

19. Special provision regarding the appearance of a person’s name in the electoral lists.

APPEALS

20. Appeals from decision of district returning officer.

21. Order of the Supreme Court.

CERTIFICATION OF LISTS

22. Certification of electoral list.

23. Date on which electoral list comes into force.

PART IV

ELECTIONS

24. Elections to be held under this Ordinance.

25. Date of holding elections.

NOTICE OF NOMINATIONS

26. Notice of nomination period.

APPOINTMENT OF RETURNING OFFICERS

27. Appointment of returning officers.

RECOGNISED POLITICAL PARTIES

27A. Recognised political parties.

27B. Repealed.

27C. Repealed.

27D. Repealed.

27E. Power of Commissioner in case of rival sections of a recognised party for the purpose of local elections.

27F. Increasing the total number of members.

NOMINATION PAPERS

28. Nomination papers.

29. Deposits to be made on behalf of candidates.

30. Disposal of deposits.

PROCEEDINGS AFTER NOMINATION PERIOD

31. Rejection of nomination papers.

32. Repealed.

33. Repealed.

34. Repealed.

35. Procedure where no nomination papers are received.

UNCONTESTED ELECTIONS

36. Uncontested elections.

CONTESTED ELECTIONS

37. Contested elections.

38. Notice of poll.

39. Death of candidate after nomination.

39A. Notice to voter regarding his number, polling station, time of the poll.

39B. Voting by post.

40. Appointment of presiding officers.

41. Hours of poll.

42. Votes to be given by ballot.

43. Electoral list to be conclusive evidence of right to vote.

44. Supply of ballot boxes.

45. Notices to be exhibited at polling stations.

46. Ballot boxes.

47. Ballot papers.

48. Official mark.

49. Appointment of Polling agents.

50. Admission to polling station.

51. Sealing of ballot boxes.

52. Power to require voter to make declaration and produce a valid identity document.

53. Manner of voting.

53A. Inspection of voter and marking with the appropriate mark.

54. Assistance to voters to enable them to vote.

55. Voting by proxy forbidden.

56. Tendered ballot papers.

57. Spoilt ballot papers.

CLOSURE OF POLL

58. Closure of poll.

59. Procedure on closure of the poll.

59A. Counting of votes.

59B. Change of venue for counting of votes.

60. Appointment counting agents.

61. Time of count and declaration of result.

61A. Counting of postal ballots.

62. The count.

63. Rejected ballot papers.

63A. Special provisions relating to powers, duties or functions under section 62 or section 63.

64. Closure of the count.

65. Declaration of candidate obtaining highest votes as a member.

65A. Declaration of members to be elected to a multi member ward.

65AA. Declaration of women members to be returned.

65B. Candidates entitled to be returned to represent electors who have not secured any representation.

66. Publication of the result.

66A. Filling of vacancies in local authorities.

66B. Declaration of Mayor, where a recognized political party or independent group receives over fifty per centum of the votes.

66C. First meeting of the local authority.

66D. Procedure for the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor at the first meeting or other meeting of a local authority.

66E. Where no member obtains the requird number of votes.

66F. Election of Deputy Mayor.

66G. Vacancy in the office of Mayor or Deputy Mayor.

67. Disposal of ballot papers after poll.

68. …

GENERAL PROVISIONS AS TO ELECTIONS

69. Non- compliance with provisions of this Ordinance.

69A. …

70. Use of schools as polling stations.

71. Repealed.

72. Presiding officer may act through officers.

72A. Disturbances at polling stations.

73. Candidate may act as his own counting agent or assist such agent.

74. Non-attendance of the agents of candidates.

75. Prohibition of disclosure of vote.

75A. Group leader.

76. Maintenance of secrecy at elections.

76A. Commissioner to issue directions.

OFFENCES RELATING TO ELECTIONS

77. Contravention of provisions regarding secrecy.

78. Offences in respect of nomination papers, ballot papers.

79. Repealed.

80. Repealed.

81. Repealed.

81A. Prohibition of certain acts on the date of poll.

81B. Provisions relating to display of handbills, posters.

81C. Repealed.

81D. Repealed.

82. Plural voting.

CORRUPT PRACTICES

82A. Personation.

82B. Treating.

82C. Undue influence.

82D. Bribery.

82E. Punishment and incapacities for corrupt practice.

82F. Special provisions relating to punishment and incapacity for a corrupt practice by an unsuccessful candidate at an election.

ILLEGAL PRACTICES

82G. Certain expenditure to be illegal practice.

82H. False reports newspaper electronic media.

82J. Certain employment to be illegal.

82K. Printing of election publications.

82L. Punishment on conviction for illegal practices.

82M. Special provisions relating to punishment and incapacity for an illegal practice by an unsuccessful candidate at an election.

82N. Additional penalty for certain offences.

PART IV A

ELECTION PETITIONS

82O. Avoidance by conviction of candidate.

82P. Avoidance of election.

82Q. High Court established by Article 154 p to try election petitions.

82R. Who may present petition.

82S. Relief which may be claimed.

82T. Parties to a petition.

82U. Contents of the petition.

82V. Special provision relating to the procedure before an Election Judge.

82W. Determination of Election Judge.

82X. Report of Judge as to corrupt or illegal practice.

82Y. Appeal against determination under section 82W and any other decision or order of Election Judge.

82Z. Security by applicant for cost of application.

82AA. Hearing of appeal.

82AB. Power of the Supreme Court in appeal.

82AC. Transmission to President of certificate and report.

82AD. Effect of Certificate.

82AE. Effect of Report.

82AF. Time for presentation.

82AG. Prohibition against disclosure.

82AH. Votes to be struck off at a scrutiny.

82AJ. Procedure and practice on election petitions.

82AK. Rejection of ballot paper by counting officer to be final.

82AL. Report Exonerating candidate in certain cases of corrupt or illegal practices.

82AM. Power of Court to innocent act from being illegal.

83. Repealed.

PART V

MISCELLANEOUS

84. Power to modify or supplement Ordinance.

84A. Duty of employers to grant leave to employees to vote.

84B. Inaccurate description of persons and places.

84C. Requisitioning of premises for use as polling stations.

84D. Compensation for requisitioning of premises.

85. Publication of notices.

85A. Destruction of notices or documents.

86. Expenses of elections.

87. Fines to be credited to the Consolidated Fund.

88. Repealed.

89. Interpretation.

SCHEDULE

53 of 1946,

24 of 1977,

35 of 1978,

5 of 1949,

25 of 1953,

22 of 1955,

60 of 1961,

9 of 1963,

15 of 1965,

30 of 1970,

9 of 1972,

48 of 1983,

20 of 1987,

24 of 1987,

25 of 1990,

1 of 2002,

14 of 2004,

16 of 2007,

28 of 2011,

22 of 2012,

1 of 2016.

AN ORDINANCE to amend and consolidate the law relating to the election of members of local authorities.

[Date of Commencement: 10th February, 1947]

1. Short title.

This Ordinance may be cited as the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance.

2. Application of Ordinance.

The provisions of this Ordinance shall apply to every Municipal Council, Urban Council and Pradeshiya Sabha constituted or to be constituted under the provisions of any written law applicable in that behalf.

[S 2 subs by s 2 of Law 24; am by s 2 of Act 20 of 1977.]

3. Electoral areas.

Every Municipality, town or Pradeshiya Sabha area shall be an electoral area for the purposes of this Ordinance.

[S 3 am by s 3 of Act 20 of 1987.]

PART I

Establishment of a National Delimitation Committee

3A. Establishment of a National Delimitation Committee.

(1) The Minister shall, upon the coming into operation of this section, by Order published in the Gazette, establish a National Delimitation Committee (in this Part referred to as the “National Committee”) which shall consist of five persons to be appointed by the Minister, one of whom shall be nominated by him to be the Chairman of the National Committee.

(2) In the event of any vacancy occurring in the membership of the National Committee during their term of office, the Minister shall appoint another person to fill in such vacancy.

(3) The quorum, for any meeting of the National Committee shall be three members and its Chairman shall preside at all meetings of such Committee. In the absence of the Chairman from any meeting of the National Committee, the members present at the meeting shall nominate a member from anomg themselves to preside at such meeting.

(4) Subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, the National Committee may regulate the procedure in regard to the conduct of its meetings and the transaction of business at such meetings.

[S 3A ins by s 2 of Act 22 of 2012.]

3B. The mandate of the National Committee and the report to be submitted.

(1) The mandate of the National Committee shall be to make recommendations to the Minister for the division of each local authority area into wards, taking into consideration the requirements set out and subsection (3). and to determine the boundaries of each ward and assign a name and a number to each such ward.

(2) The National Committee shall, in making its recommendation for the division of a local authority area into wards, take into consideration—

(a) the ratio of the ethnic composition of the local authority concerned, and the need to ensure equal representation for each ethnic group in that local authority area ;

(b) the geographical area of the local authority and its physical features;

(c) the population of the local authority area and the density of such population; and

(d) the level of economic development of the local authority.

(3) Where the National Committee is of the view that having taken into consideration the requirements specified in subsection (2), it is appropriate to create a ward which should be entitled to return more than one candidate, the Committee shall recommend the creation of a multi member ward or wards, as the case may be, for any local authority.

(4) The proceedings of the National Committee shall be conducted and such manner as shall be prescribed.

(5) A National Committee established under section 3A shall be required to fulfill its mandate by such date as shall be determined by the Minister and on the completion of such mandate, submit a report on its recommendations to the Minister.

[S 3B ins by s 2 of Act 22 of 2012.]

3C. Notification to be published of the boundaries, names and numbers of each ward created for each local authority.

Upon receipt of the report of a National Committee, the Minister shall by a Notification published in the Gazette, publish the number of wards the boundaries, names and the numbers assigned to each ward so created on the recommendation made by the National Committee in respect of each respective local authority. Where the National Committee has recommended the creation of multi member wards, the name and number of each such multi member ward, the name of the local authority concerned and the number of members s to be returned in respect of each such multi member ward shall also be specified.

[S 3C ins by s 2 of Act 22 of 2012.]

3D. Minister to alter the boundaries of any ward.

(1) The Minister may, where any alteration is made to the limits of any local authority, cause an alteration to be made to the boundaries of the wards of that local authority as published in the Notification made under section 3C. Further there alterations shall be made on the recommendation of a Committee consisting of five persons appointed by the Minister and the requirements specified in section 3B shall apply to and in respect of any such alterations being made.

(2) The new boundaries of each ward whose boundaries are altered by the Minister under subsection (1), shall be published in the Gazette and shall take effect in respect of an election held under this ordinance in such local authority, immediately after such alterations are effected.

[S 3D ins by s 2 of Act 22 of 2012.]

3E. Establishment of District Delimitation Committees at District level.

(1) For the purpose of assisting a National Committee in fulfilling its mandate, the Minister may appoint a Delimitation Committee at each at District level, (hereinafter referred to as a “District Committee”) which shall consist of the District Secretary of the relevant District who shall be the Chairman of such District Committee and the following members to be appointed by the Minister:—

(a) a representative of the Department of Elections;

(b) a representative of the Provincial Ministry of Local Government, of the Provincial Council within which such District is situated;

(c) a representative of the Survey- General’s Department;

(d) a representative of the Department of Census and Statistics; and

(e) a public officer nominated by the Minister.

(2) A District Committee shall carry out such functions as may be assigned to it by a National Committee and shall act under the direction and the supervision of such National Committee.

(3) The provisions of subsection (3) and (4) of section 3A shall mutatis mutandis apply to and in regard to the conduct of meetings of District Committee.

[S 3E ins by s 2 of Act 22 of 2012.]

PART IA

[Part I renumbered as Part IA by s 3 of Act 22 of 2012.]

SUPERVISING STAFF

4. Officers and staff.

(1) The Commissioner may appoint by name or by office for each district in Sri Lanka, a fit and proper person to be or to act as district returning officer and one other person to be or to act as the returning officer for each of the electoral areas or of any particular electoral area, as the case may be, in a district, and such number of other persons as may become necessary to be or to act as assistant returning officers for that district.

[S 4(1) subs by s 2 of Act 24 of 1987; 4 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(2) There may also be appointed such clerical and minor staff as may be necessary to assist the aforesaid officers in the performance of their duties under this Ordinance.

(3) Every person appointed under the preceding provisions of this section shall be deemed for all purposes to be a public servant and shall be paid such salary and allowances out of the Consolidated Fund as may be determined or approved by the Minister with the concurrence of the Minister in charge of the subject of Finance.

5. Powers and Duties of Officers.

(1) In the exercise or performance of the powers or duties conferred or imposed by this Ordinance each district returning officer shall be subject to the general supervision and control of the Commissioner.

[S 5(1) am by s 3 of Act 9 of 1963.]

(2) Subject to the general supervision and control of the Commissioner, each assistant returning officer and assistant district returning officer may exercise or perform the powers or duties conferred or imposed by this Ordinance upon an election officer.

[S 5(2) subs by s 5 of Act 22 of 2012.]

PART II

QUALIFICATIONS OF VOTERS AND MEMBERS,
AND VACATION OF OFFICE BY MEMBERS

QUALIFICATIONS OF VOTERS

6. Disqualifications of voters.

No person shall be qualified to vote at any election under this Ordinance of a member of a local authority unless his name is entered in any parliamentary register for the time being in operation.

[S 6(1) re-numbered as s 6 by s 5(b) of Law 24 of 1977.]

. . .

[S 6(2) rep by s 5(a) of Law 24 of 1977.]

7. Insertion of names in electoral lists of electoral areas.

(1) Every person—

(a) whose name is entered in any parliamentary register for the time being in operation for any electoral district; and

(b) who was, on the first day of June in the year of the commencement of the preparation or revision of that parliamentary register, ordinarily resident in any ward which is situated wholly or partly within the electoral district, shall be entitled to have his name entered in the electoral list of that electoral area.

[S 7 re-numbered as s 7(1) by s 2(a) of Act 15 of 1965; subs by s 6(1) of Law 24 of 1977; 7(1)(b) am by s 6 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(2) In the determination of any question as to a person’s residence on the first day of June in any year, particular regard shall be had to the purpose and other circumstances, as well as to the fact of his presence at, or absence from, the address in question, and in particular his absence from such address in the performance of any duty accruing from, or incidental to, any office, service or employment, held or undertaken by him.

[S 7(2) ins by s 2(c) of Act 15 of 1965.]

(3) The address at which a person was ordinarily resident in any electoral area on the first day of June in any year is hereafter in this Ordinance referred to as his qualifying address.

[S 7(3) ins by s 2(c) of Act 15 of 1965; subs by s 6(2) of Law 24 of 1977.]

8. General qualifications for membership.

Every person who is not disqualified as provided by section 9 shall be qualified at any time for election as a member of any local authority if—

(a) he was, on the date of the commencement of the preparation or revision of the parliamentary register for the time being in operation for any electoral district in which that electoral area or any part thereof is situated, qualified to have his name entered in that register; and

(b) he was, on the first day of June in the year of the commencement of the preparation or revision of that register, ordinarily resident in that electoral area.

[S 8 subs by s 7 of Law 24 of 1977.]

9. Disqualifications for membership.

(1) No person shall, at any time, be qualified to be elected under this Ordinance, or to sit or to vote, as a member of any local authority, if such person at that time—

(a) is not a citizen of Sri Lanka, or if he is by virtue of his own act, under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience or adherence to any foreign Power or State; or

(b) is less than eighteen years of age; or

[S 9(1)(b) am by s 4 of Act 9 of 1963.]

(c) …

[S 9(1)(c) rep by s 4 of Act 15 of 1965.]

(d) is—

(i) a judicial officer, or

(ii) a member of the armed forces, or

(iii) a police officer, or

(iv) a peace officer exercising police functions under the Code of Criminal Procedure, or

[S 9(1)(d) subs by s 2(1) of Act 30 of 1970.]

(v) a public officer in any Government Department holding—

(a) any office created prior to June 1, 2007, the initial of the salary scale of which was, on January 01, 2006, not less than Rs. 2,27,280 per annum or such other amount per annum as would, under any subsequent revision of salary scales, correspond to such initial, or

[S 9(1)(d)(v)(a) am by s 7(1)(i) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(b) any office created after June 01, 2007, the initial of the salary scale of which is on the date of the creation of that office, not less than the initial of the salary scale applicable, on that date, to an office referred to in item (a) or such other amount per annum as would, under any subsequent revision of salary scales, correspond to the first-mentioned initial; or

[S 9(1)(d)(v) subs by s 2(a) of Act 48 of 1983; 9(1)(d)(v)(b) am by s 7(1)(ii) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(vi) an officer in any public corporation holding—

(a) any office created prior to January 01, 2009, the initial of the salary scale of which was, on January 01, 2009 not less than Rs. 2,46,300 per annum or such other amount per annum as would, under any subsequent revision of salary scales, correspond to such initial, or

[S 9(1)(d)(vi)(a) am by s 7(1)(iii) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(b) any office created after January 01, 2009, the initial of the salary scale of which is, on the date of creation of that office, not less than the initial of the salary scale applicable on that date to an office referred to in item (a) or such other amount per annum as would, under any subsequent revision of salary scales, correspond to the first-mentioned initial;

[S 9(1)(d)(vi) subs by s 2(a) of Act 48 of 1983; 9(1)(d)(vi)(b) am by s 7(1)(iv) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(dd) is a member of Parliament, a member of a Provincial Council established by the Constitution or a member of any other local authority;

[S 9(1)(dd) ins by s 4 of Act 9 of 1963; subs by s 2 of Act 25 of 1990.]

(e) is an officer or servant of such authority in actual employment by and in receipt of a salary from such authority, or is a person whose employment by such authority was terminated within a period of one year before the date of the election of members to such authority; or

[S 9(1)(e) am by s 2 of Act 9 of 1972.]

(f) directly or indirectly, himself or by any other person whatsoever in trust for him or for his use or benefit or on his account, holds or enjoys, in the whole or in part, any contract or agreement or commission made or entered into with or accepted from any person for or on account of such authority:

Provided that nothing herein contained shall extend to any pension or gratuity granted by such authority in respect of past service, nor to any contract, agreement or commission entered into or accepted in its corporate capacity by any incorporated trading company in which such person may be a member or a shareholder; or

(g) is, under any law in force in Sri Lanka, found or declared to be of unsound mind; or

(h) is an uncertificated or undischarged bankrupt or insolvent; or

(i) is serving or has during the period of seven years immediately preceding, completed serving a sentence of imprisonment for an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding twelve months or is under a sentence of death or is serving or has during the period of seven years immediately preceding, completed serving a sentence of imprisonment awarded in lieu of execution of a sentence of death; or

[S 9(1)(i) subs by s 7(2) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(j) is a member of the local Government Service constituted by the Local Government Service Act:1

[S 9(1)(j) subs by s 2(2) of Act 9 of 1972.]

Provided that nothing herein contained shall extend to a person who holds a post the initial of the salary scale of which is—

(i) in the case of a post created prior to June 01, 2007, less than Rs. 2,27,280 per annum, on that date, or such other amount per annum as would, under any subsequent revision of salary scales, correspond to any such initial; or

[S 9(1)(j)proviso(i) am by s 7(3)(i) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(ii) in the case of a post created after June 01, 2007 not less than the initial of any salary scale applicable, on the date of creation of that post, to a post referred to in paragraph (i) or such other amount per annum as would, under any subsequent revision of salary scales, correspond to the first-mentioned initial. if he seeks election to a local authority under which he is not employed at the time of the election in question, or under which he was not employed during a period of one year immediately preceding such election; or

[S 9(1)(j) proviso subs by s 2(b) of Act 48 of 1983; 9(1)(j)proviso(ii) am by s 7(3)(ii) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(k) is disqualified from being elected, or from sitting or voting, as a member of any local authority by reason of the operation of subsection (2) of this section or section 83 of this Ordinance; or

(l) is disqualified by section 5 of the Public Bodies (Prevention of Corruption) Ordinance, from being elected, or from sitting or voting, as a member of a public body as defined in that Ordinance, by reason of a conviction, or of a finding of a commission of inquiry, referred to in that section; or

(m) is serving, or has during the period of five years immediately preceding completed the serving of, the whole or part of a sentence of imprisonment of either description for a term of three months or any longer term on conviction of any crime within the meaning of the Prevention of Crimes Ordinance.

(1A) No person shall be qualified to be of elected under this Ordinance or to sit or to vote as a member of any local authority if such person’s name appears as a candidate in more than one nomination paper for the same general election.

[S 9(1A) ins by s 8 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(2) A person shall, at any time, be disqualified from being elected under this Ordinance, or from sitting or voting, as a member of any local authority if such person at that time—

(a) is incapable under any provision in that behalf in the Ceylon (Parliamentary Elections) Order-in-Council, 1946, of being elected as a Member of Parliament, by reason of any conviction referred to in such provision, or by reason of the report of an Election Judge in accordance with that Order; or

(b) is disqualified by sub-paragraph (g) of paragraph (1) of Article 91 of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, 1978, for being elected as a Member of Parliament, or for sitting or voting in Parliament by reason of an adjustment referred to therein.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of subsection (1) and subsection (2), no person who, at any time after the appointed date, is removed from the office of Mayor or member of a Municipal Council, Chairman or member of any Development Council or any Urban Council or any Pradeshiya Sabha, by Order published under section 277 of the Municipal Councils Ordinance or section 63 of the Development Councils Act or section 184 of the Urban Councils Ordinance or section 185 of the Pradeshiya Sabhas Act, as the case may be, shall be qualified for a period of five years from the date of such removal from office to be elected under this Ordinance, or to sit or vote as a member of any local authority.

[S 9(3) subs by s 4(2) of Act 24 of 1987.]

(4) …

[S 9(4) rep by s 8 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(5) For the purposes of this section—

(a) “Judicial officer” means a person holding judicial office within the meaning of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, and shall not include—

(i) a Justice of the Peace;

(ii) a Justice of the Peace and Unofficial Magistrate;

(iii) a Commissioner for Oaths; and

(iv) an inquirer appointed under section 108 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act;

(b) “police officer” means a member of the police force established under the Police Ordinance;

(c) “Armed forces” means the Sri Lanka Army, the Sri Lanka Navy, and the Sri Lanka Air Force; and

(d) “Government Corporation” means a Corporation the capital of which is wholly or partly subscribed by the Government.

[S 9(5) subs by s 2 of Act 30 of 1970.]

VACATION OF OFFICE

10. Vacation of membership.

(1) Where any member of a local authority is, by reason of the operation of any of the provisions of section 9, disqualified from sitting or voting as a member of such authority, his seat or office shall ipso facto become vacant.

(2) Where the seat or office of a member of a local authority becomes vacant by reason of the operation of the provisions of subsection (1), the provisions of the enactment by or under which such authority is constituted shall apply for the purpose of filling up the vacant seat or office in like manner as they would have applied if such member had resigned his seat or office.

10A. Vacation of office on ceasing to be member of recognised political party.

(1) If the district returning officer in which a local authority area is situated, is satisfied that any person whose name has been included as a candidate for election as a member of that local authority, in the nomination paper of a recognised political party, has ceased to be a member of that party, the district returning officer shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (2), by notice published in the Gazette declare that such person—

(a) has vacated his office of member, if he had been elected as a member of that local authority; or

(b) has forfeited his rights to have his name retained in the nomination paper of that recognised political party for filling any casual vacancy,

and thereupon, such person shall vacate his office as member of that local authority or the name of such person shall be expunged from the nomination paper of that recognised political party, as the case may be, as from the date on which such declaration is published in the Gazette.

(2) The district returning officer shall not publish the notice referred to in subsection (t) except after—

(a) notice to such person and such recognised political party; and

(b) expiry of a period of twenty-one days from the date of such notice. Every such notice shall be sent by registered post.

(3) Whenever any person whose name has been included in the nomination paper of a recognised political party ceases to be a member of such party the secretary of that party shall furnish such information to the district returning officer in which the local authority, to which that nomination paper relates, is situated.

[S 10A ins by s 9 of Law 24 of 1977.]

11. Penalty for acting as member after office is vacated.

Every person who knowingly acts in the office of a member of any local authority, after his seat or office becomes vacant under the provisions of section 10, shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction after summary trial before a Magistrate, be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred rupees in respect of each day on which he so acts as a member.

PART III

DIVISION INTO POLLING DISTRICTS AND PREPARATION OF ELECTORAL LISTS DIVISION INTO POLLING DISTRICTS.

[Subs by s 10 of Law 24 of 1977.]

12. Parliamentary polling district deemed to be polling district for local elections.

(1) Each ward of a local auhority shall be deemed to be a polling area for the purpose of an election to that local authority.

[S 12(1) subs by s 8(1) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(2) The district returning officer may—

(a) a divide the polling area of a local authority, into one or more polling districts in accordance with directions as may be issued by the Commissioner;

(b) assign to each polling district a distinguishing letter or letters;

(c) determine with respect to each such polling district, the location in which the polling station in respect of that district shall be situated; and

(d) publish in the Gazette, a notice containing the particulars referred to in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) above.

[S 12(2) subs by s 8(2) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(2A) Unless the Commissioner otherwise directs, the division of a polling area into polling district shall be so made, that each polling district at the time of such division, shall consist of not more than one thousand five hundred voters.

[S 12(2A) ins by s 8(3) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(2B) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2a), the division of a polling area into polling districts may be altered by the district returning officer as the occasion may require, and upon such alteration being made, he shall publish in the Gazette a notice specifying the particulars referred to in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of subsection (2) and the date on which such alteration shall come into effect.

[S 12(2B) ins by s 8(3) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(2C) A notice published in the Gazette under paragraph (d) of subsection (2) or under subsection (3), as the case may be, may be amended from time to time in regard to the particulars referred to in paragraph (c) of subsection (2) which is required to be specified in that notice, after notifying to public of the proposed amendments in such manner as the Commissioner may determine, and after giving an opportunity to the public for making representations in regard to the proposed amendments.

[S 12(2C) ins by s 8(3) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(3) Unless the district returning officer considers it necessary or expedient in the special circumstances of any case to provide a separate polling station for female voters there shall be for each polling district, not less than one polling station.

[S 12 subs by s 11 of Law 24 of 1977; 12(3) am by s 8(4) of Act 22 of 2012.]

12A. Alteration of the administrative limits of a local authority or of a ward.

Where the administrative limits of any local authority is altered under any law under which such local authority was established or the boundaries of any ward into which a local authority area is divided is altered by the Minister, under section 3d of this Ordinance, the provisions of section 12 shall mutatis mutandis apply to and in relation to such local authority or ward, as the case may be, whose administrative limits or boundaries have been so altered.

[S 12A ins by s 12 of Law 24 of 1977; subs by s 9 of Act 22 of 2012.]

PREPARATION OF LISTS.

[Ins by s 13 of Law 24 of 1977.]

12B. Parliamentary registers to be used for local elections.

For the purpose of a general election of members of any local authority for any electoral area, the district returning officer shall prepare and certify an electoral list for each ward of such electoral area in Sinhala and Tamil and such list shall comprise the operative parliamentary register or registers or part of a register or parts of a register or any combination of them as correspond to the respective ward of such electoral area of such local authority.

[S 12B ins by s 14 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 10 of Act 22 of 2012.]

12C. …

[S 12C ins by s 14 of Law 24 of 1977; rep by s 2 of Law 35 of 1978.]

12D. Electoral list open for inspection.

Upon the certification of the electoral list under section 12B the list or copies thereof shall forthwith be open for inspection, free of charge, during office hours at the office of the local authority of the electoral area to which the list relates. A notice to the effect that the list is so open for inspection shall be published by the district returning officer. The electoral list of each ward of any electoral area prepared and certified under section 12B shall come into force on the date of such certification.

[S 12D ins by s 14 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 3 of Law 35 of 1978; am by s 11 of Act 22 of 2012.]

12E. District Returning Officer to correct clerical error.

Nothing in this Ordinance shall be deemed to prohibit an district returning officer, before certifying any electoral list, from correcting any clerical error which appears to him to have been made therein.

[S 12E ins by s 14 of Law 24 of 1977.]

12F. Application of provisions relating to preparation of lists.

Where the Minister is of opinion that the alteration of the limits of any ward or the limits of the electoral area of any local authority, as the case may be, is such that it is necessary that a new electoral list should be prepared, he shall by Order published in the Gazette direct that the electoral list to be used for the election of members of that local authority to be held immediately after the publication of such Order shall be prepared in compliance with the succeeding provisions of this Ordinance.

[S 12F ins by s 14 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 12 of Act 22 of 2012.]

13. …

[S 13 rep by s 15 of Law 24 of 1977.]

14. …

[S 14 rep by s 15 of Law 24 of 1977.]

15. …

[S 15 rep by s 17 of Law 24 of 1977.]

NOTICE OF COMPLETION OF PREPARATION OF LISTS.

[Subs by s 18 of Law 24 of 1977.]

16. Notice of completion of preparation of electoral lists.

An district returning officer shall, on the completion of the preparation of the electoral lists of the wards of any electoral area, publish a notice in Sinhala and Tamil stating that such preparation has been completed. The list or copies thereof shall be open for inspection, free of charge, during office hours at the office of the local authority of such area and the notice aforesaid shall contain a statement to the effect that the list is so open for inspection.

[S 16 subs by s 19 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 13 of Act 22 of 2012.]

CLAIMS AND OBJECTIONS

17. Claims and objections.

(1) Upon the publication of a notice under section 16 in respect of the electoral lists of the wards any electoral area—

[S 17(1) am by s 14 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(a) any person who claims to be entitled, under this Ordinance, to have his name entered in any such list and whose name is not so entered, may apply to have his name entered therein;

(b) any person whose name is entered in any such list and who objects to the name of any other person appearing therein, may apply to have the name of such other person erased therefrom.

Every application under paragraph (a) (hereinafter referred to as a “claim”) and every application under paragraph (b) (hereinafter referred to as an “objection”) shall be made in writing to the district returning officer in which the area is situated not later than fourteen days from the date of the publication of the notice.

[S 17(1) subs by s 20 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(2) No claim or objection shall be entertained by the district returning officer unless it is made within the time specified by subsection (1).

18. Publication and hearing of claims and objections.

(1) Upon the expiry of a period of fourteen days from the date of the publication of the notice under section 16 in respect of the electoral lists of the wards of any electoral area, the district returning officer in which the area is situated shall, if any claim or objection has been duly made in respect of the list, publish a notice—

[S 18(1) am by s 15(1) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(a) setting out each claim or objection so made;

(b) indicating that at a time and date specified in such notice he will attend at the office of the local authority of the area or at such other place as he may specify in such notice for the purpose of hearing each such claim or objection; and

(c) calling upon every claimant and every person who desires to oppose any claimant, every objector and every person in regard to whom an objection has been made, to appear before him at the date and at the time and place so indicated.

[S 18(1) subs by s 21 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(2) —

(a) The district returning officer shall attend on the date, and at the time and place, indicated in the notice and shall decide each claim or objection set out in the notice after such summary inquiry as he may deem necessary, either on that date or within the period of ten days next succeeding that date.

(b) Before deciding any claim or objection under this section, the district returning officer shall give the claimant and every person who desires to oppose the claim or the objector and the person in regard to whom the objection is made, as the case may be, an opportunity of being heard.

(c) The district returning officer shall keep a record in writing of all proceedings taken by him under this section for the purpose of deciding any claim or objection.

(3) For the purpose of deciding any claim or objection, the district returning officer may administer an oath or affirmation, and any person knowingly making any false statement upon such oath or affirmation shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to the penalties prescribed by the Penal Code for the offence of giving false evidence in a judicial proceeding.

(4) The decision of the district returning officer under this section on every claim or objection shall, subject to the provisions of sections 20 and 21, be final and conclusive.

(5) The district returning officer shall, after deciding all the claims and objections made in respect of the electoral lists, make such amendments in the lists as he may deem necessary to give effect to any such decision.

[S 18(5) subs by s 21 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 15(2) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(6) Every person who willfully makes a false statement or declaration in any claim or objection or at any inquiry held in connection therewith shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction after summary trial before a Magistrate, be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred rupees.

(7) The district returning officer shall keep order at any inquiry held under this section into any claim or objection, and shall regulate the number of persons to be admitted at a time, and may exclude all persons, except the claimant and persons who desire to oppose the claim or, as the case may be, the objector and the person in regard to whom the objection is made, the police officers on duty, and other persons officially employed for the purposes of the inquiry.

(8) If any person misconducts himself at any inquiry held under this section into any claim or objection, or fails to obey the lawful orders of the district returning officer, the district returning officer may cause him to be removed forthwith from the place at which the inquiry is being held by any police officer or by any other person authorised in writing by the district returning officer.

(9) Any person removed from a place at which an inquiry is being held under this section—

(a) shall not, except with the permission of the district returning officer, be allowed to enter that place again during the inquiry; and

(b) may, if he is charged with the commission of any offence in that place, be kept in custody until he can be brought before a Magistrate.

19. Special provision regarding the appearance of a person’s name in the electoral lists.

(1) No person shall be entitled to have his name entered or retained—

(a) in more than one electoral list, whether of the wards of the same electoral area or of different electoral areas; or

[S 19(1)(a) subs by s 16(1) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(b) more than once in the same electoral list under different qualifying addresses,

notwithstanding that he may be qualified to have his name so entered or retained.

[S 19(1) subs by s 22(1) of Law 24 of 1977.]

(2) —

(a) Where it appears that a person is qualified to have his name entered or retained—

(i) in more than one electoral list; or

(ii) more than once in the same electoral list under different qualifying addresses,

an district returning officer shall cause notice to be served upon that person requiring him to specify, within seven days of the date of service of such notice, the electoral list in which he desires to have his name entered or retained, or the qualifying address under which he desires to have his name entered or retained in the same electoral list, as the case may be.

(b) Any notice referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection may be served upon any person by sending it by ordinary letter post to such person or by delivering it to him or to an adult member of his household.

[S 19(2) subs by s 5 of Act 15 of 1965.]

(3) Where, in compliance with a notice under paragraph (a) of subsection (2), a person specifies—

(a) the electoral list in which he desires to have his name entered or retained, and the district returning officer of the appropriate district is satisfied that such person is qualified to have his name entered or retained in that list, his name shall be entered or retained in that list and in no other electoral list; or

(b) the qualifying address under which he desires to have his name entered or retained in the same electoral list. and the district returning officer in which the ward to which that list relates is situated is satisfied that such person is qualified to have his name entered or retained in that list under that address, his name shall be entered or retained under that address in that list and under no other address in that list.

[S 19(3) subs by s 22(2) of Law 24 of 1977; 19(3)(b) am by s 16(2) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(4) Where a person fails to comply with a notice under paragraph (a) of subsection (2),

(a) the appropriate district returning officer shall, if the notice required such person to specify the electoral list in which such person desires to have his name entered or retained, determine which one of the electoral lists in which such person is qualified to have his name entered or retained shall be the electoral list in which such name shall be entered or retained, and such name shall be entered or retained in the electoral list determined by such officer and in no other electoral list; or

(b) the appropriate district returning officer shall, if the notice required such person to specify the qualifying address under which he desires to have his name entered or retained in the same electoral list, determine which one of the qualifying addresses in the same electoral list under which such person is qualified to have his name entered or retained shall be the address under which such name shall be entered or retained in that list, and such name shall be entered or retained under the qualifying address in that list determined by such officer and under no other qualifying address in that list.

[S 19(4) subs by s 5 of Act 15 of 1965.]

(5) The failure of any person to comply with any notice served under paragraph (a) of subsection (2), or the failure of an district returning officer to comply with the provisions of subsection (4) in respect of that person, or the fact that upon such compliance his name is not entered or retained in any electoral list, or under any qualifying address in the same electoral list, specified by such person, shall not affect or prejudice his right to have his name entered or retained, subject to the provisions of subsection (1) and section 82, in any electoral list, or under any qualifying address in the same electoral list, as the case may be, in or under which he is qualified to have his name entered or retained.

[S 19(5) subs by s 5 of Act 15 of 1965.]

APPEALS

20. Appeals from decision of district returning officer.

(1) If any claimant or objector or person in regard to whom an objection has been made is dissatisfied with the decision of any district returning officer on any claim or objection relating to the electoral lists of the wards of any electoral area, he may, not later than ten days from the date of such decision, appeal therefrom to the Court of Appeal on any question of law involved in such decision but not on any other grounds.

[S 20(1) subs by s 23 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 17 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(2) Every appeal under this section shall be preferred by means of a petition bearing a stamp or stamps to the value of five rupees. The petition of appeal shall be filed with the district returning officer, who shall forward it forthwith to the Registrar of the Court of Appeal together with the record of the proceedings to which the appeal relates.

(3) The appellant in his petition shall name a respondent to the appeal, and such respondent shall—

(a) if the appellant is a claimant, be the district returning officer;

(b) if the appellant is an objector, be the person in regard to whom the objection is made;

(c) if the appellant is a person in regard to whom an objection is made, be the objector.

(4) The appellant shall, within three days of the filing of the petition with the district returning officer, serve a copy of the petition on the respondent either personally or by leaving the copy at the last known place of abode of the respondent and shall, within five days of the service of the copy, file with the Registrar of the Court of Appeal an affidavit stating the time, place, and circumstances of such service.

(5) …

[Subsection (5) is omitted as Article 146(2)(ii) of the Constitution requires this appellate Jurisdiction to be exercised by two Judges of the Court of Appeal.]

21. Order of the Supreme court.

At the hearing of any appeal duly preferred in respect of any claim or objection under this Ordinance, the Court of Appeal shall, after giving the appellant and the respondent or their respective attorneys-at-law an opportunity of being heard, make such order as to the claim or objection, and as to the payment of the costs of the inquiry as it thinks just; and such order if it directs the insertion or erasure of any name in the electoral list shall forthwith be complied with by the district returning officer by whom the list was prepared.

[S 21 subs by s 24 of Law 24 of 1977.]

CERTIFICATION OF LISTS

22. Certification of electoral list.

(1) In the case of each electoral area, the electoral lists prepared or revised in any year and amended, where necessary, in accordance with the provisions of section 18 or section 19 or section 21, shall be certified by the district returning officer in which the area is situated.

(2) The district returning officer may certify the electoral lists under this section during the tendency of any appeal preferred under section 20 in respect of the lists and shall thereafter, if the order made by the Court of Appeal on such appeal so directs, insert or erase any name in the lists.

(3) Upon the certification as herein before provided of the electoral lists, the lists or copies thereof shall forthwith be open for inspection, free of charge, during office hours at the office of the local authority of the electoral area to which the lists relates. A notice to the effect that that lists is so open for inspection shall be published by the district returning officer, and if any appeals are pending before the Court of Appeal in respect of the lists, the notice aforesaid shall include a statement setting out particulars of every such appeal.

(4) Nothing in this Ordinance shall be deemed to prohibit an district returning officer, before certifying any electoral lists, from correcting any clerical error which appears to him to have been made therein.

[S 22 subs by s 25 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 18 of Act 22 of 2012.]

23. Date on which electoral list comes into force.

The electoral lists of the wards of any electoral area, prepared and certified under section 22, shall come into force on the date of such certification, subject to such alterations as may subsequently be made therein in accordance with section 22.

[S 23 subs by s 26 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 19 of Act 22 of 2012.]

PART IV

ELECTIONS

24. Elections to be held under this Ordinance.

Every general election of the members of a local authority shall be held in the manner hereinafter provided by this Ordinance.

[S 24 subs by s 27 of Law 24 of 1977.]

25. Date of holding elections.

Every general election of the members of a local authority shall be held within a period of six months preceding the date on which the term of office of the members who are to be elected is due to commence.

[S 25 subs by s 5 of Act 24 of 1987.]

NOTICE OF NOMINATIONS

26. Notice of nomination period.

Whenever a general election of the members of a local authority is due to be held in any year, the district returning officer in which the electoral area of such local authority is situated, shall publish a notice of his intention to hold such election. The notice shall specify the name of the assistant returning officer who is appointed to receive nomination papers of the recognized political parties and independent groups whose candidates are contesting in each ward of that electoral area, the period (hereinafter referred to as the “nomination period”) and the hours during which nomination papers shall be received by the respective assistant returning officers and the place where such nomination papers shall be so received. Such nomination period shall commence on the fourteenth day after the date of the publication of the notice and shall expire at twelve noon of the day after. The notice shall also specify the date, time and place at which the approved symbols will be allotted and respect of a local authority area.

[S 26 subs by s 29 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 6 of Act 24 of 1987; subs by s 20 of Act 22 of 2012.]

APPOINTMENT OF RETURNING OFFICERS

27. Appointment of returning officers.

(1) For the purpose of every general election of the members of a local authority, for an electoral area, the Commissioner shall nominate a public officer, as returning officer and such number of public officers as are necessary, as assistant returning officers, for that electoral area, to exercise, perform or discharge, in respect of that electoral area, the powers, duties and functions, conferred or imposed on, or assigned to, a returning officer or an assistant returning officer; as the case may be, in respect of an election.

(2) Where any returning officer appointed under subsection (1), is by reason of sickness or other cause, unable to exercise, discharge, and perform, the powers, functions and duties vested in, assigned to, or imposed on, him by, or under, this Ordinance such returning officer may delegate such powers, duties and functions to another public officer. Every such delegation shall, as soon as possible, be reported to the Commissioner, who may confirm or disallow the delegation, without prejudice to the validity of anything already done by the public officer to wham such powers, duties and functions have been delegated.

(3) Any returning officer appointed under section 4 may exercise, perform or discharge in any electoral area in his district, the powers, functions and duties vested in, assigned to, or imposed an, a returning officer by this section.

[S 27 subs by s 7 of Act 24 of 1987.]

RECOGNISED POLITICAL PARTIES

[Ins by s 31 of Law 24 of 1977.]

27A. Recognised political parties.

(1) Every political party which is treated as a recognised political party under the Parliamentary Elections Order-in-Council shall so long as that political party continues to remain as so treated under that Order shall be deemed to be a recognised political party for the purpose of local elections.

(2) Where a political party is deemed by virtue of the operation of the provisions of subsection (1) to be a recognised political party for the purpose of local elections, the approved symbol allotted to the candidates of such party under the Parliamentary Elections Order-in-Council shall be deemed to be the approved symbol allotted to that party until the date on which it ceases to be so entitled under subsection (1).

(3) ...

[S 27A(3) rep by s 21 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(4) ...

[S 27A(4) rep by s 21 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(5) ...

[S 27A ins by s 6 of Act 9 of 1963; subs by s 32 of Law 24 of 1977; 27A(5) rep by s 21 of Act 22 of 2012.]

27B. …

[S 27B ins by s 6 of Act 9 of 1963; rep by s 33 of Law 24 of 1977.]

27C. …

[S 27C ins by s 6 of Act 9 of 1963; rep by s 33 of Law 24 of 1977.]

27D. …

[S 27D ins by s 6 of Act 9 of 1963; rep by s 33 of Law 24 of 1977.]

27E. Power of Commissioner in case of rival sections of a recognised party for the purpose of local elections.

(1) Where the Commissioner has reasonable cause to believe that difficulties may arise at any election which is due to be held in any electoral area by reason of the fact that there are rival sections of a recognised political party for the purpose of local elections all of whom claim to be that party, the Commissioner may, in order to remove such difficulties, issue in his absolute discretion a direction to the returning officer of that electoral area that, in the case of such election, such recognised political party is either any one such section or none of such sections. It shall be the duty of such returning officer or any other officer, at such election, to act in accordance with that direction.

[S 27E(1) subs by s 34 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(2) No suit or other proceeding shall lie against—

(a) the Commissioner by reason of his having issued a direction under subsection (1); or

(b) a returning officer or any other officer for any act or thing done or omitted to be done in accordance with that direction.

(3) A direction issued by a returning officer under subsection (1) shall be final and conclusive, and shall not be called in question in any court, whether by way of writ or otherwise.

(4) The preceding provisions of this section, and any direction issued thereunder, shall have effect notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any other provision of this Ordinance.

[S 27E ins by s 6 of Act 6 of 1963.]

27F. Increasing the total number of members

(1) The total number of members of each local authority as determined by the Minister by Order made under subsection (1) of section 5 of the Municipal Councils Ordinance (Chapter 252), under subsection (1) of section 5 of the Urban Councils Ordinance (Chapter 255) or under subsection (1) of section 4 of the Pradeshiya Sabhas Act, No. 15 of 1987 shall be further increased by one third of such total number of members:

Provided that, where the number constituting a fourth of the total of the number of members is an integer and fraction, the integer shall be deemed to be the number which shall constitute a fourth of the total number of such members.

(2) The number so increased under subsection (1), as determined by the Minister by Order made under section 3C of this Ordinance shall form the list of women candidates to be submitted by each recognized political party or any group of persons (hereinafter referred to as the “independent group”) contesting at the elections.

(3) The number so increased under subsection (1) shall be published in the Gazette by Order made by the Minister.

[S 28F ins by s 2 of Act 1 of 2016.]

NOMINATION PAPERS

[Subs by s 35 of Law 24 of 1977.]

28. Nomination papers.

(1) Any person who is qualified under section 8 of this ordinance to be elected as a member of a local authority, may be nominated as a candidate for election for any ward of the electoral area of such authority, provided that no such person shall be nominated as a candidate for election in respect of more than one ward of any electoral area of a local authority.

[S 28(1) subs by s 36 of Law 24 of 1977; 22(1) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(1A) ...

[S 28(1A) ins by s 3(1) of Act 25 of 1990; rep by s 22(2) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(1B) ...

[S 28(1B) ins by s 3(1) of Act 25 of 1990; rep by s 22(2) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(2) Any recognized political party or any independent group shall, for the purpose of election as members of any local authority and for the returning of women members of such local authority, submit two nomination papers containing the lists of candidates in respect of all wards of such local authority. One of the two nomination papers submitted by each recognized political party or independent group in respect of all wards of any local authority shall consist of a list of names of candidates for the purpose of election as members of such local authority, substantially in the Form set out in the First Schedule, setting out the names—

(a) of candidates being nominated in respect of each ward of that local authority and which number shall be equivalent to the number of members to be elected as elected members in respect of those several wards; and

(b) of such number of additional persons as is equivalent to thirty per centum of the total number of persons being nominated as candidates to be elected under paragraph (a), from among whom the members of that local authority who shall be returned under section 65a of this Ordinance, shall be appointed:

Provided that where the number constituting thirty per centum referred to in this paragraph is an integer and fraction, the integer shall be deemed to be the number which shall constitute thirty per centum, for the purpose of this paragraph.

[S 28(2) subs by s 36 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 8(1) of Act 24 of 1987; s 3(2) of Act 25 of 1990; subs by s 22(3) of Act 22 of 2012; am by s 3(1) of Act 1 of 2016.]

(2A) The other nomination paper in respect of all wards of any local authority referred to in subsection (2) of this section shall consist of a list of names of such number of women candidates ranked in order of priority.

[S 28(2A) ins by s 3(3) of Act 1 of 2016.]

(2B) The returning officer shall as soon as is practicable make a copy of each nomination paper received by him and display such copies of the nomination papers on his notice board. The nomination paper shall be prepared in duplicate, with the word “copy” being written clearly on the duplicate copy.

[Para following proviso to s 28(2) renumbered as s 28(2B) by s 3(4) of Act 1 of 2016.]

(2C) A nomination paper referred to in subsection (1), shall—

(a) in the case of a recognized political party, be submitted by the Secretary or an authorized agent of such party or the candidate whose name appears and the nomination paper being submitted, who is nominated for such purpose by the secretary; and

(b) in the case of an independent group, be submitted by the leader of such group or a candidate whose name appears in the nomination paper being submitted, nominated by the leader for such purpose.

[S 28(2A) ins by s 22(4) of Act 22 of 2012; renumbered as s 28(2C) by s 3(2) of Act 1 of 2016.]

(2D) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in this Ordinance, twenty-five per centum of the total number of candidates and additional persons whose names appear in each nomination paper submitted under subsection (2) of this section, may consist of women and youth.

[S 28(2B) ins by s 22(4) of Act 22 of 2012; renumbered as s 28(2D) by s 3(2) of Act 1 of 2016.]

(2E) Where the number constituting the twenty-five per centum, referred to in subsection (2) or subsection (2b) section, is and integer and fraction, the integer shall be deemed to be the number which shall constitute twenty five per centum for the purpose of that subsection.

[S 28(2C) ins by s 22(4) of Act 22 of 2012; renumbered as s 28(2E) by s 3(2) of Act 1 of 2016.]

(3) …

[S 28(3) rep by s 8(2) of Act 24 of 1987.]

(4) The written consent of each candidate and each person being nominated by a recognised political party or an independent group shall be endorsed on the nomination paper and there shall be annexed to the nomination paper, an oath or affirmation, as the case may be, in the form set out in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, taken and subscribed or made and subscribed, as the case may be, by every such candidate.

[S 28(4) subs by s 4 of Act 48 of 1983; am by s 22(5) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(4A) A certified copy of the birth Certificate of every youth whose name appears in the nomination paper or an affidavit signed by such youth, certifying his date of birth shall be attached to such nomination paper.

[S 28(4A) ins by s 3(3) of Act 25 of 1990; am by s 22(6) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(4B) A declaration of the assets and liabilities under the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Act, No. 1 of 1975 in the form as prescribed under that Law, shall be required to be submitted in respect of each candidate and person whose names appear on a nomination paper, within three months of the submission of such nomination paper.

[S 28(4B) ins by s 22(7) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(5) Each nomination paper shall be signed by the secretary of a recognised political party and in the case of an independent group, by the candidate whose name appears in the nomination paper ‘of that group and is designated therein as the group leader ‘of that group’ (such candidate is hereinafter referred to as “the group leader”) and shall be attested by a Justice ‘of the Peace or by a Notary Public. Such nomination paper shall be delivered to the returning Officer within the nomination period by the secretary or the authorised agent, in the case of a recognised political party, or the group leader in the case of an independent group.

[S 28(5) subs by s 8(3) of Act 24 of 1987.]

(6) The returning officer of an electoral area shall on application made at any date after the publication of the notice under section 26 and before the expiry of the nomination period for that electoral area, supply free of charge a nomination paper in the prescribed form to any recognised political party or any independent group; but nothing in this Ordinance shall be deemed to preclude the use of any form of nomination paper not supplied by the returning officer, so long as such form does not differ substantially from the form set out in the First Schedule.

[S 28(6) subs by s 36 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(7) …

[S 28(7) rep by s 8(4) of Act 24 of 1987.]

(8)—

(a) Where it appears to the secretary of a recognised political party or group leader that there is any omission or clerical error in a nomination paper submitted by such party or independent group he may make an application to the returning officer before the expiry of the nomination period to correct such omission or error on such paper.

(b) Where the returning officer is satisfied that such omission or error is due to inadvertence the returning officer may allow such secretary or the authorised agent or group leader to correct such omission or error in his presence.

[S 28(8) subs by s 36 of Law 24 of 1977.]

29. Deposits to be made on behalf of candidates.

(1) —

(a) Every recognized political party and independent group shall, between the date of the publication of the Notice under section 26 and the submission of the nomination paper and in any case not later than twelve noon on the day immediately preceding the end of the nomination period, deposit in legal tender with the assistant returning officer to whom the nomination paper is to be submitted, a sum of—

(i) five thousand rupees in respect of each candidate and each additional person being nominated by a recognized political party; and

(ii) twenty thousand rupees in respect of each candidate and each additional person being nominated by an independent group.

(b) The deposit in legal tender shall—

(i) in the case of a recongnized political party, be submitted by the Secretary of the recognized political party or his authorized agent; and

(ii) in the case of an independent group, be submitted by the leader of the independent group.

[S 29(1) subs by s 23(1) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(2) No deposit made on behalf of a candidate under subsection (1) shall be accepted by the assistant returning officer, unless it is made within the time specified in that subsection.

[S 29(2) subs by s 23(1) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(3) Where the deposit under this section is accepted by the assistant returning officer, such officer shall forthwith issue to the person by whom the deposit was made a receipt in writing signed by such officer acknowledging his acceptance of such deposit, and the receipt shall state—

(a) the name of the group leader by whom the deposit was made, or the authorised person by whom and on whose behalf the deposit was made;

(b) the number of candidates;

(c) the amount of the deposit; and

(d) the time and date of the deposit.

[S 29(3) subs by s 37 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 23(2) of Act 22 of 2012.]

30. Disposal of deposits.

(1) Every deposit made with an assistant returning officer under section 29 shall forth with be credited by such officer to a deposit account and shall be disposed of according to the provisions of the subsections next following.

[S 30(1) am by s 24(1) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(2) Where the nomination paper of an independent group is rejected under the provisions of section 31, the deposit shall be returned to the person who made the deposit.

[S 30(2) subs by s 38(1) of Law 24 of 1977.]

(3) …

[S 30(3) rep by s 38(2) of Law 24 of 1977.]

(4) Where the candidate of a recognized political party or independent group on whose behalf a deposit was made is not elected and where the number of votes polled by such candidate does not exceed one-twentieth of the total number of valid votes polled in the ward in which he contested, the deposit made on behalf of such candidate shall be declared forfeit. The assistant returning officer with whom it was deposited, shall transfer such account from the deposit account to the Consolidated Fund and in every other case the deposit shall be returned to the candidate who made the deposit, as soon as may be after the result of the election is declared:

Provided that, where any recognized political party or independent group fails to obtain more than one twentieth of the total number of valid votes polled by all the recognized political parties and independent groups which contested the election in such local authority area, the deposit made by each such recognized political party or independent group, as the case may be, in respect of all the additional persons whose names appear in the nomination paper submitted by such recognized political parties or independent group, as the case may be, shall be declared forfeit and the provisions of this subsection shall apply in regard to the transfer of such deposit.

[S 30(4) subs by s 24 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(5) …

[S 30(5) rep by s 38(4) of Law 24 of 1977.]

(6) For the purposes of this section, the number of votes polled at any election shall be deemed to be the number of votes actually counted and shall not include any votes rejected as void.

PROCEEDINGS AFTER NOMINATION PERIOD.

[Subs by s 39 of Law 24 of 1977.]

31. Rejection of nomination papers.

(1) The assistant returning officer shall, immediately after the expiry of the nomination period, examine the nomination papers received by him and reject any nomination paper—

[S 31(1) am by s 25(1)(a) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(a) that has not been delivered in accordance with the provisions of subsection (5) of section 28, or

(b) that does not contain the total number of candidates required to be nominated under subsection (2) of section 28; or

(bb) ...

[S 31(1)(bb) ins by s 5(1) of Act 25 of 1990; rep by 25(1)(a) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(bbb) ...

[S 31(1)(bbb) ins by s 5(1) of Act 25 of 1990; rep by 25(1)(a) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(c) in respect of which the deposit required under section 29 has not been made; or

(d) ...

[S 31(1)(d) subs by s 4 of Act 48 of 1983; rep by 25(1)(b) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(e) where the signature of the secretary in the case of a recognised political party or of the group leader in the case of an independent group does not appear on the nomination paper or where such signature has not been attested as required by subsection (5) of section 28.

[S 31(1) subs by s 40 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(1A) Objections to a nomination paper may be made to a returning officer between twelve noon and one-thirty O’clock in the afternoon of the- last day of the period of nomination and no such objections shall be entertained by the returning officer after one-thirty O’clock in the afternoon of that day.

[S 31(1A) ins by s 5(2) of Act 25 of 1990.]

(2) Where any nomination paper has been rejected by the returning officer under subsection (i), the returning officer shall inform the secretary of the recognised political party or the group leader, as the case may be, who had submitted such nomination paper the fact of such rejection. The decision of the returning officer to reject such nomination paper shall be final and conclusive.

[S 31(2) subs by s 40 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(3) Where a candidate or any person whose name appears on a nomination paper submitted by a recognized political party or an independent group, as the case may be, is found to be disqualified due to the failure of such candidate or person:—

(a) where the candidate or person concerned is a youth, to have attached to the nomination paper a certified copy of his Certificate of Birth or in the event the Certificate of Birth is not available an Affidavit signed by such youth certifying his date of birth; or

(b) to have his consent which is required to be included in such nomination paper to be endorsed on the nomination paper, and to have annexed to the nomination paper his Oath or Affirmation in the Form set out in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, the nomination paper so submitted shall not be rejected, but the name of the candidate or the person concerned who is found to be disqualified due to any of the reasons specified in this subsection, shall be removed from the nomination paper so submitted. Where a name of any candidate or any person is removed from a nomination paper, the political party or the independent group, as the case may be, which submitted such nomination paper, shall not thereafter be entitled to replace the name so removed with any other new name and the deposit made in respect of the candidate or other person whose names was removed, shall be forfeited.

[S 31(3) ins by s 25(2) of Act 22 of 2012.]

32. …

[S 32 rep by s 41 of Law 24 of 1977.]

33. …

[S 33 rep by s 41 of Law 24 of 1977.]

34. …

[S 34 rep by s 41 of Law 24 of 1977.]

35. Procedure where no nomination papers are received.

(1) —

(a) Where in the case of any electoral area, the assistant returning officer finds at the expiry of the nomination period—

(i) that no nomination paper has been duly received on behalf of any recognized political party or independent group; or

(ii) that all the nomination papers received by him have been rejected or that the names of all the candidates appearing in such nomination paper have been removed from such nomination paper in terms of subsection (3) of section 31, as the case may be,

the assistant returning officer shall forthwith report to the district returning officer in which the area is situated the fact that no nomination papers have been received, or that all the nomination papers received by him have been rejected, or that the names of all the candidates appearing in any nomination paper have been removed from such nomination paper under subsection (3) of section 31, as the case may be.

(b) The election officer shall, not later than seven days after the receipt of the report, publish a notice prescribing a further nomination period. The notice shall specify the period (hereinafter referred to as the “second nomination period”) during which the nomination papers are to be received by the assistant returning officer at his office and all the provisions of this Ordinance shall thereupon apply.

[S 35(1) subs by s 26 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(2) If during the second nomination period appointed for an electoral area no nomination papers have been received or all the nomination papers received have been rejected, the returning officer shall forthwith report the fact through the district returning officer to the Commissioner and upon receipt of such report, the Commissioner shall cause a notice to be published in the Gazette, and in any such other manner as may appear to him to be best calculated to give publicity thereto, to the effect that no candidate stands duly nominated for such electoral area during the second nomination period.

(3) From the date of the publication of a notice under subsection (2) in respect of an electoral area, no further steps shall be taken under this Ordinance, for the nomination of candidates for the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor and members for that local authority until the next general election of the members of that local authority:

Provided, however, that it shall be lawful for the Minister taking into consideration the provisions contained in subsection (1A) of section 28 to nominate such number of persons who are eligible under this Ordinance for election as Mayor and Deputy Mayor, and members of that local authority, and the persons so nominated shall be deemed, for all purposes, to be elected under the provisions of this Ordinance.

[S 35 subs by s 42 of Law 24 of 1977; 35(3) proviso am by s 6 of Act 25 of 1990.]

UNCONTESTED ELECTIONS

36. Uncontested elections.

(1) Where in the case of any electoral area—

(a) not more than one nomination paper has been submitted; or

(b) after the rejection of a nomination paper or papers or where the names appearing in any nomination paper or papers are removed under subsection (3) of section 31 due to any reason specified therein, the candidates of only one recognized political party or an independent group stand nominated for election, the assistant returning officer shall inform the Commissioner of such fact. The Commissioner shall thereupon call the secretary of such recognized political party or the leader of such independent group, as the case may be, to specify which of the candidates from among those whose names appear in the nomination paper under paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section 28, shall be declared elected as the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of that local authority. Upon such secretary or the group leader, as the case may be, communicating his decision to the Commissioner, the Commissioner shall declare the member so specified elected as the Mayor and Deputy Mayor respectively, of that local authority.

[S 36(1)(b) subs by s 27 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(2) The returning officer shall report the result of the election through the district returning officer in which the electoral area is situated to the Commissioner and upon the receipt of the report, the Commissioner shall forthwith cause a notice of the result to be published in the Gazette and in such other manner as may appear to him to be best calculated to give publicity thereto.

[S 36 subs by s 43 of Law 24 of 1977.]

CONTESTED ELECTIONS

37. Contested elections.

(1) If at the expiry of the nomination period appointed for each ward of an electoral area and after the rejection of any nomination papers or papers or the names appearing in any nomination paper or papers is removed under subsection (3) of section 31 due to any reason specified therein, the candidates of more than one recognized political party or of an independent group stands duly nominated for the election, the assistant returning officer shall forthwith allot for the purpose of that election—

(a) to each candidate from a recognized political party, the approved symbol of that party; and

(b) to each candidate from an independent group, any approved symbol and where there are more than one independent groups contesting such election, an approved symbol determined—

(i) in the first instance by agreement among the independent groups contesting; or

(ii) in the absence of such agreement, by the draw of lots cast or drawn in such manner as the assistant returning officer may, in his absolute discretion, determine,

and such symbol shall be printed on the ballot paper opposite the name of the respective recognized political party or the independent group.

[S 37(1) subs by s 28 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(2) The approved symbol of any recognised political party for the purpose of local elections shall not, whether or not such party is contesting any election, be allotted under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section to any independent group.

(3) After the allocation of symbols under subsection (1), the returning officer shall forthwith—

(a) adjourn such election to enable a poll to be taken in accordance with the provisions hereinafter set out;

(b) report to the district returning officer in which the electoral area is situated that the election is contested; and

(c) send to such district returning officer copies of the nomination papers of the recognised political parties and independent groups and a statement of the symbols allotted to each party or group and where there is more than one independent group the distinguishing numbers allotted to each group.

[S 37 subs by s 44 of Law 24 of 1977.]

38. Notice of poll.

(1) Upon the receipt of a report under section 37 in respect of an electoral area, the district returning officer in which the area is situated shall forthwith publish a notice in the Gazette specifying—

(a) the electoral area in which the election is contested;

(b) a single list containing the names of the candidates as indicated by them, but placed in alphabetical order of their names in Sinhala, of each recognised political party or independent group, the serial number assigned to each such candidate, the approved symbol allotted to such party or group, and in the case of an independent group the words” independent group” and the distinguishing number if any;

[S 38(1)(b) subs by s 11 of Act 24 of 1987; am by s 8 of Act 25 of 1990.]

(c) the date of the poll, such date being a date other than a Poya day or any public holiday as specified in the First Schedule to the Holidays Act, No. 29 of 1971, but wherever possible a Saturday or a date or dates determined by the returning officer with the concurrence of the Commissioner and being a date not less than five weeks and not more than six weeks from the date of the publication of the notice; and

[S 38(1)(c) subs by s 29 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(d) the situation of the polling station or polling stations for each of the polling districts in that electoral area and the particular polling stations, if any, reserved for female voters.

[S 38(1) subs by s 45 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(2) Where due to any emergency it is necessary that the situation of any polling station should be different from that specified in a notice published under subsection (1), the district returning officer may cause the situation of that station to be altered in such manner as he may in his absolute discretion-determine.

[S 38(2) subs by s 45 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(3) Where the district returning officer in consultation with the Commissioner is of the opinion, that due to any emergency or unforeseen circumstances the poll for the election in any electoral area cannot be taken on the date specified in the notice relating to the election published under subsection (1), the district returning officer may appoint another date for the taking of such poll and such other date shall not be earlier than the twenty-first day after the publication of the notice under subsection (1).

[S 38(3) subs by s 45 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 2 of Act 1 of 2002.]

39. Death of candidate after nomination.

(1) Notwithstanding the death of a candidate for election for any local authority between the adjournment of the election for the purposes of the poll and the commencement of the poll, the poll shall be taken on the date specified for the same under paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section 38.

[S 39(1) subs by s 30 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(2) in the event a vacancy occurring due to the death of a candidate, the secretary of the recognized political party or the group leader of the independent group or person whose name appears in the second place in the nomination paper submitted by such independent group, to which such candidate who died belonged, shall nominate a person who is qualified to be elected as a member under section 8 of this Ordinance, to fill such vacancy.

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