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. Order to be published of all boundaries, names and numbers or letters 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 Repealed.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 Repealed.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 Repealed.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 Repealed.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. Total number of women 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. Apportionment of women members.

65B. Candidates entitled to be elected or returned.

66. Publication of the result.

66A. Filling of vacancies in local authorities.

66B. Declaration of Mayor, where a recognised 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;

16 of 2017.

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 among 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. Order to be published of all boundaries, names and numbers or letters of each ward created for each local authority.

(1) Upon the receipt of the report on the recommendations of the National Committee, the Minister shall forthwith submit such report on the recommendation to the President.

(2) Upon the receipt of such report on the recommendations, the President shall by Order published in the Gazette, publish the number of wards, the boundaries, names, number assigned to each ward so created on the recommendations made by the National Committee in respect of each local authority. Where the National Committee has recommended the creation of multi member wards, the name and the number assigned to each such multi member ward, the name of the respective local authority and the total number of members to be elected to each such multi member ward, shall also be so specified.

[S 3C ins by s 2 of Act 22 of 2012; am by s 2 of Act 16 of 2017.]

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, names and numbers 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; am by s 3 of Act 16
of 2017.]

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

(iva) a public officer who is engaged in field based activities who has not ceased to serve within a Local Authority area in which he seeks nomination at least one year prior to the election to such Local Authority.

For the purpose of this subparagraph “a public officer who is engaged in field based activities” shall include any person who is engaged in any development, welfare, economic, social, health or such other activities within the scope of his employment.

[S 9(1)(d) subs by s 2(1) of Act 30 of 1970; am by s 4 of Act 16 of 2017.]

(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 parliamentary pollling district for the time being in force in any local authority area shall be deemed to be a polling district for the purpose of elections to that local authority:

Provided, however, that the elections officer may for the purpose of local elections by notification published in the Gazette alter or modify any such parliamentary polling district.

Provided further,

(i) each ward of a local authority shall be deemed to be a polling area for the purpose of an election to that local authority.; and

(ii) each ward shall be identified by a name and a number.

[S 12(1) second proviso ins by s 8(1) of Act 22 of 2012; am by s 5(1) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(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 polling 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; am by s 5(2)(b) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(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 recognised 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 and where there are more than one independent group, a distinguishing number shall be allotted.

[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; am by s 6 of Act 16 of 2017.]

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. Total number of women members.

(1) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in this Ordinance, not less than twenty five per centum of the total number of members in each local authority shall be women members:

Provided that, where the number constituting twenty five per centum of the total number of members in a local authority in an integer and fraction, the integer shall be deemed to be the number which shall constitute twenty five per centum for the purpose of this section.

(2) The Commissioner of Elections shall by notice published in the gazette, specify the number of women candidates to be nominated in respect of each local authority.

[S 27F ins by s 2 of Act 1 of 2016; subs by s 7 of Act 16 of 2017.]

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; am by s 8(1) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(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 recognised political party or independent group shall, for the purpose of election as members of any local authority, submit two nomination papers in respect of all wards of such local authority. The nomination papers submitted by every recognised political party or independent group in respect of all wards of any local authority shall consist of the number of candidates of whom not less than ten per centum of the total number of members to be elected and returned in the first nomination paper, and not less than fifty per centum of the total number of candidates in the additional nomination paper shall be women candidates for the purpose of election as members of such local authority, substantially in the Forms set out in the First Schedule, setting out the names—

(a) of candidates being nominated in respect of each ward of that local authority which number shall be equivalent to sixty per centum of the total number of members of that local authority:

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

(b) of such number of additional persons to be nominated as candidates to be retuned as is equivalent to forty per centum of the total number of members of the local authority plus three additional persons:

Provided that where the number constituting forty per centum referred to in this paragraph is an integer and fraction, the integer shall be deemed to be the number which shall constitute forty 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; s 8(2), (3), (4) and (5) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(2A) The Commissioner shall by notice published in the gazette, specify the minimum number of women candidates as specified in subsection (2) to be nominated in the First Nomination Paper and the Additional Nomination Paper in respect of all wards of each Local Authority. Where the total number of women candidates to be nominated is such that not less than ten per centum of the total number of members to be elected and returned in the First Nomination Paper and not less than fifty per centum of the number of candidates in the Additional Nomination Paper would be an integer and fraction, the integer shall be deemed to be the number required for the purposes of this section.

[S 28(2A) ins by s 3(3) of Act 1 of 2016; subs by s 8(6) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(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.

[Para following proviso to s 28(2) renumbered as s 28(2B) by s 3(4) of Act 1 of 2016; am by s 8(7) of Act 16 of 2017.]

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

(a) in the case of a recognised 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, not less than thirty 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 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; am by s 8(8) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(2E) Where the number constituting the thirty per centum, referred to in subsection (2) or subsection (2D) is an integer and fraction, the integer shall be deemed to be the number which shall constitute thirty 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; am by s 8(9) of Act 16 of 2017.]

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

(ii) five 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 recongnised political party, be submitted by the Secretary of the recognised political party or his authorised agent; and

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

[S 29(1) subs by s 23(1) of Act 22 of 2012; am by s 9 of Act 16 of 2017.]

(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 recognised 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 recognised political party or independent group fails to obtain more than one twentieth of the total number of valid votes polled by all the recognised political parties and independent groups which contested the election in such local authority area, the deposit made by each such recognised 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 recognised 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; or

[S 31(1)(e) am by s 11(1) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(f) that does not contain the total number of women candidates as required to be nominated under subsection (2A) of section 28 of this Ordinance.

[S 31(1) subs by s 40 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 11 of Act 16 of 2017.]

(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 recognised 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 recognised 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 recognised 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 recognised 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 recognised 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 recognised 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 recognised 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) the nomination papers 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; am by s 12 of Act 16 of 2017.]

(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, 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 recognised political party or the group leader of the 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.

[S 39(2) subs by s 30 of Act 22 of 2012; am by s 13 of Act 16 of 2017.]

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

(1) The returning officer for an electoral area in which an election is contested shall, if that electoral area is an area to which this subsection applies, send by post to each voter whose name appears in the electoral list of any ward of that area an official poll card specifying—

(a) the name of the local authority;

(b) the name, address and number of the voter as stated in the electoral list,

(c) the name and the number of the ward;

[S 39A(1)(c) subs by s 14(2) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(d) the polling station allotted to the voter; and

(e) the date and hours of the poll.

[S 39A(1) subs by s 47(1) of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 31(1) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(2) An official poll card under subsection (1) shall be so sent to a voter as to reach him at least five days before the date of poll. Where a post office fails to deliver such an official poll card to the person to whom it is addressed, it shall be retained in such post office until the date of the poll and shall be delivered to the addressee if he calls for it.

(3) Every person who—

(a) without authority supplies any official poll card to any other person, or

(b) sells or offers to sell any official poll card to any other person or purchases or offers to purchase any official poll card from any other person,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction after summary trial before a Magistrate, be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred rupees or to imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(3A) Every person—

(a) other than a public servant acting in the course of his duty as such servant, who has in his possession the official poll card of any other person; or

(b) who without due authority prints any official poll card or what purports to be or is capable of being used as an official poll card at any election under this Ordinance,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction after summary trial before a Magistrate, be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred rupees or to imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

[S 39A(3A) ins by s 10 of Act 15 of 1965.]

(4) The Minister may, from time to time, by Order published in the Gazette, declare that with effect from such date as shall be specified in the Order, the provisions of subsection (1) shall apply to every electoral area or areas as shall be so specified.

[S 39A(4) subs by s 47(2) of Law 24 of 1977; ins by s 9 of Act 9 of 1963.]

39B. Voting by post.

(1) A person who is entitled under this section to be treated as a postal’ voter, for the purpose of an election to any local authority may vote by post, and shall not vote in person, at such election. Any person who votes in person at any election in contravention of the preceding provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on, conviction after summary trial before, a Magistrate, be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred rupees or to imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding one year or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(2) An application to be treated as a, postal voter at an election to a local authority may be made—

(a) by a member of the Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, or an officer Or servant in the Department of Police, the Sri Lanka Government Railway, the Department of Posts and the Department of Telecommunications or the Sri Lanka Central Transport Board or any Regional Transport Board, on the ground that he is unable or likely to be unable to vote in person at the polling; station allotted to him by reason of the particular circumstances of his employment as such member officer or servant, and

(b) by any other officer or servant in the public service or of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, or the Local Government Service on the ground’ of the particular circumstances of his employment on the date of the poll for a purpose connected with the election or his being likely to be employed for that purpose, and

(c) by a candidate at an election on the ground that he is unable to or likely to be unable to vote in person at the polling station allotted to him by reason of his candidature in some other electoral area.

(3) An application to be treated as a postal voter shall be made to the returning officer so as to reach him within two days after the date of publication of the notice of nomination under section 26. Such application shall be substantially in the form prescribed for the purpose by the regulations contained in the Ninth Schedule.

(4) No application to be treated as a postal voter shall be allowed by a returning officer unless he is satisfied that the application is in accordance with the preceding provisions of this section.

(5) The returning officer may, for the purpose of’ the disposal of applications to be treated as postal voters, by notice require any person to give such officer any such information as is necessary for that purpose.

(6) The decision of a returning officer on an application to be treated as a postal voter shall be communicated in writing to the applicant.

(7) The decision of the returning officer to allow or disallow an application to be treated as a postal voter shall be final.

(8) Where an application to be treated as a postal voter is allowed by a returning officer, the applicant shall be a person entitled to be treated as a postal voter for the purpose of m election.

(9) The returning officer shall, as soon as practicable, send by post to each person who is entitled to be treated as a postal voter, to the address furnished by such person,

(a) a ballot paper;

(b) a form of declaration of identity:

(c) an envelope which shall be smaller than the envelope referred to in paragraph (d) of this subsection, and which shall be marked “ballot paper envelope” and also with the number printed on the postal ballot paper issued to such person, and in which the postal’ ballot paper shall be enclosed when it is returned duly marked; and

(d) an envelope for the return of the afore mentioned documents.

(10) The form of the ballot paper and the form of the declaration of identity which are to be used by a person entitled to be treated as postal voters, and the procedure to be followed at the proceedings on their is issue, shall be according to the regulations contained in the Ninth Schedule.

(11) A ballot paper issued to a person entitled to be treated as a postal voter is in this ordinance referred to as “a postal ballot paper “.

(12) The returning officer of any electoral area where there is an election shall, as soon as practicable, prepare a list (in this Ordinance referred to as the” postal voters list”) specifying the name, address and number on the register of electors of every person entitled to be treated as a postal voter. Such list shall be prepared in such manner as may be prescribed in that behalf by the regulations contained in the Ninth Schedule.

[S 39B ins by s 13 of Act 24 of 1987.]

40. Appointment of presiding officers.

(1) For the purpose of each election for any electoral area, the returning officer of that electoral area shall appoint—

(a) one or more persons (hereinafter referred to as “presiding officer”) to preside at each polling station in each polling district; and

(b) where more than one person is appointed as a presiding officer in respect of a polling station, appoint one of such presiding officers to be the senior presiding officer of that polling station.

[S 40(1) subs by s 32 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(2) Where any presiding officer is, by sickness or other cause, prevented from performing any of his duties under this Ordinance at any election, and there is no time for another person to be appointed by the returning officer, the presiding officer may appoint a deputy to act for him. Every such appointment shall, as soon as possible, be reported to the returning officer and may be confirmed or disallowed by the returning officer, but without prejudice to the validity of anything already done by such deputy.

(3) The returning officer may, if he thinks fit, preside at any polling station in his electoral area, and the provisions of this Ordinance relating to presiding officers shall apply to such returning officer with the necessary modifications as to the things to be done by the returning officer in regard to the presiding officer or by the presiding officer in regard to the returning officer.

[S 40(3) subs by s 48(2) of Law 24 of 1977.]

41. Hours of poll.

The poll of every election for an electoral area shall be open at 7 a.m. on the date appointed for the purpose by notice under section 38 and shall close at 4 p.m. on that day.

[S 41 subs by s 14 of Act 24 of 1987.]

42. Votes to be given by ballot.

The votes at every election for any (b) electoral area shall be given by ballot. The ballot of each voter shall consist of a ballot paper in the form and containing the particulars hereinafter prescribed.

[S 42 subs by s 50 of Law 24 of 1977.]

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

The electoral list for the time being in force for any ward of any electoral area shall be conclusive evidence for the purpose of determining whether or not a person is entitled to vote at any election for the ward and the right of voting of any person whose name is contained in such list shall not be prejudiced by any appeal pending before the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court in respect of the inclusion of such person’s name in the list, and any vote given by any such person during the pendency of any such appeal shall be as valid as though no such appeal were pending and shall not be affected by the subsequent decision of the appeal:

Provided that if any person, who by reason of his conviction of a corrupt practice or an illegal practice or by reason of the report of an Election Judge or by reason of his conviction of an offence under section 52 or section 53 of the Ceylon (Parliamentary Elections) Order-in-Council, 1946, or by reason of the operation of section 4A of that Order, is incapable of voting at any election under that Order, votes at any election under this Ordinance, he shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction after summary trial before a Magistrate, be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred rupees or to imprisonment of either description for a period not exceeding six months; and

Provided, further, that nothing in this section shall affect the liability of any person to any penalty for a (b) contravention of any of the provisions of section 82 relating to plural voting.

[S 43 subs by s 51 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 33 of Act 22 of 2012; s 16 of Act 16 of 2017.]

44. Supply of ballot boxes.

For the purposes of each election for any electoral area, the returning officer of that area shall—

(a) appoint such officers and servants as may be necessary for taking the poll and counting the votes;

(b) furnish each polling station in that electoral area with such number of compartments as may be necessary to accommodate a reasonable number of voters at any one time and to ensure that the voters are screened from observation when they mark their ballot papers;

(c) furnish each presiding officer with such number of ballot boxes and ballot papers as, in the opinion of the returning officer, may be necessary for the number of voters assigned to that polling station;

(d) provide each polling station with materials to enable voters to mark the ballot papers, with instruments for stamping thereon or perforating the official mark, and with copies of the electoral list, for the time being in force for that ward or that part of the list which contains the names of voters who are assigned to that polling station;

[S 44(d) subs by s 34 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(e) do such other acts and things as may be necessary for effectually conducting the election in the manner provided by this Ordinance.

[S 44 subs by s 52 of Law 24 of 1977.]

45. Notices to be exhibited at polling stations.

(1) During the taking of the poll, the presiding officer at every polling station shall cause to be exhibited—

(a) outside the polling station and in every compartment thereof, a notice substantially in the form as set out in the Second Schedule, giving directions for the guidance of voters; and

(b) outside the polling station, a notice specifying the names of candidates as indicated by each recognised political party and independent group, the approved symbol allotted to each such party or group and where there are more than one independent group the distinguishing number allotted to each such group as indicated in the nomination paper.

[S 45(1)(b) subs by s 35 of Act 22 of 2012; am by s 18 of Act 16 of 2017.]

(2) Every notice under this section shall be in Sinhala, Tamil and English.

[S 45 subs by s 53 of Law 24 of 1977.]

46. Ballot boxes.

Every ballot box shall be so constructed that the ballot papers can be put therein, but cannot be withdrawn therefrom, without the box being unlocked.

47. Ballot papers.

Every ballot paper shall be substantially in the form as set out in the Third Schedule, and—

(a) shall contain the names of the recognised political parties contesting at the election, in Sinhala, Tamil and English arranged in the Sinhala alphabetical order and with the symbol allotted to each such party set out against the name of each such party, and immediately thereafter, if there are any independent groups contesting at such election, the words, “Independent Group” repeated for each such group and the distinguishing number in the serial order and the symbol allotted to each such group set out against the distinguishing number of such group and a blank cage against each symbol for a voter to cast his vote. A voter shall cast his vote within the cage provided therefor;

[S 47(a) am by s 16; 9 of Act 25 of 1990 of Act 24 of 1987; am by s 36 of Act 22 of 2012; s 19 of Act 16 of 2017.]

(b) shall be capable of being folded up;

(c) shall have a number printed on the back; and

(d) shall have attached a counterfoil with the same number printed on the face.

[S 47 subs by s 54 of Law 24 of 1977.]

48. Official mark.

(1) The official mark shall be kept secret.

(2) The official mark used at any election under this Ordinance shall not be used at any other election for the same electoral area until an interval of seven years has elapsed.

49. Appointment of polling agents.

(1) The secretary of each recognised political party or its authorised agent and the group leader of each independent group may appoint not more than two agents (hereinafter referred to as “polling agents”) to represent such party or group at each polling station during the taking of the poll. Notice in writing of every such appointment stating the names and addresses of the persons appointed shall be given by the secretary of the recognised political party or its authorised agent and the group leader of each independent group to the presiding officer at that station before the opening of the poll or during the poll.

[S 49(1) subs by s 55 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(2) If a polling agent appointed under subsection (1) dies or becomes incapable of acting, the secretary of the recognised political party or its authorised agent or the group leader of the independent group, as the case may be, may appoint another polling agent in his place and shall forthwith give to the presiding officer notice in writing of the name and address of the polling agent so appointed.

[S 49(2) subs by s 55 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(3) No person who—

(i) holds office for the time being as a member of any local authority; or

(ii) is an officer or servant of such authority,

shall be eligible to be appointed or to act as the polling agent of any recognised political party or independent group at any polling station in the electoral area of such authority:

Provided, however, that any person holding office for the time being as a member of such authority may act as a polling agent of his recognised political party or independent group at any election at which he is a candidate.

[S 49(3) subs by s 55 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(4) Any polling agent who has been duly appointed, and in respect of whom the notice required by this section has been given, may, during the hours of the poll, attend at the polling station to which he has been appointed.

50. Admission to polling station.

(1) No person shall be admitted to vote at any polling station other than the polling station set apart for the group of voters to which he belongs.

[S 50(1) subs by s 56(1) of Law 24 of 1977.]

(2) . …

[S 50(2) rep by s 56(2) of Law 24 of 1977.]

(3) The presiding officer shall keep order in his station, and shall regulate the number of voters to be admitted at a time, and shall exclude all other persons except the candidates, the polling agent or agents, the police officers on duty and other persons officially employed at the polling station.

[S 50(3) am by s 56(3) of Law 24 of 1977.]

(4) If any person misconducts himself in the polling station, or fails to obey the lawful orders of the presiding officer, the presiding officer may cause him to be removed forthwith from the polling station by any police officer or by any other person authorised in writing by the presiding officer or by the returning officer.

(5) Any person removed from a polling station under subsection (4)—

(a) shall not, except with the permission of the presiding officer, be allowed to enter the polling station again during the hours of the poll; and

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

Provided that the powers conferred by this subsection shall not be exercised so as to prevent any voter who is otherwise entitled to vote at any polling station from having an opportunity of voting at such station.

51. Sealing of ballot boxes.

Immediately before the commencement of the poll, the presiding officer shall show the ballot box empty to such persons as may be present at the polling station so that they may see that it is empty, and shall then lock it up and place his seal upon it in such manner as to prevent it being opened except by breaking the seal, shall place it in his view for the receipt of ballot papers, and shall keep it so locked and sealed.

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

(1) The presiding officer of any polling station may, and if requested so to do by a polling agent, shall, require any voter, at the time he applies for a ballot paper but not afterwards, to make and subscribe all or any of the following declarations (which shall be exempt from stamp duty), namely—

First—

“I, (name in full) of (address), hereby declare that I am the same person whose name appears as A. B. on the electoral list now in force for this ward

(Signature or mark of voter)

Declared before me this …. day of........... 20.......

(Signature of Presiding Officer).

Second.—

“I………………, (name in full) of (address), hereby declare that I have not voted either here or elsewhere at this election for the election of a member for this ward.”

(Signature or mark of voter).

Declared before me this…. day of....... 20........

(Signature of Presiding Officer)

[S 52(1) subs by s 57 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 37 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(1A) The presiding officer of a polling station or a person acting under his authority shall require any voter, before the ballot paper is delivered to the voter, to produce a valid identity document to ascertain his name and identity.

[S 52(1A) ins by s 15(a) of Act 14 of 2004.]

(2)—

(a) If any person refuses to make any such declaration or produce a valid identity document, the presiding officer may refuse to give him a ballot paper.

[S 52(2)(a) am by s 15(b) of Act 14 of 2004.]

(b) If any person willfully makes a false statement in any such declaration, he shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction after summary trial by a Magistrate to a fine not exceeding five hundred rupees or to imprisonment of either description for any term not exceeding six months.

(3) Where a ballot paper is to be issued to any voter—

(a) the ballot paper shall be either stamped, embossed or perforated with the official mark;

(b) the number, name and description of the voter as stated in the copy of the electoral list shall be called out;

(c) the number of the voter shall be marked on the counterfoil and the ballot paper detached therefrom; and

(d) a mark shall be placed in the list against the number of the voter to denote that he has received a ballot paper, but without showing the particular ballot paper he has received.

53. Manner of voting.

The voter, on receiving the ballot paper, shall forthwith proceed into the compartment to which he is directed by the presiding officer or any person acting under that officer’s authority and there secretly mark the ballot paper in accordance with the directions given for the guidance of voters under this Ordinance and fold up the ballot paper so as to conceal his vote, and shall then show to the presiding officer the back of the paper, so as to disclose the official mark, and put the ballot paper, so folded up, into the ballot box in the presence of the presiding officer.

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

(1) No ballot paper shall be delivered to any voter at any local election—

(a) if he refuses to allow presiding officer or a person acting under his authority to make the appropriate inspection of the mark or valid identity document; or

[S 53A(1)(a) am by s 16(a) of Act 14 of 2004.]

(b) if, having allowed such inspection, it discloses that either such voter has already been marked with the appropriate mark or facts giving rise to suspicion over the identity of the voter; or

[S 53A(1)(b) am by s 16(b) of Act 14 of 2004.]

(c) if, having allowed such inspection, it discloses that such voter has not already been marked with the appropriate mark, but such voter refuses to allow such officer or person to mark such voter with the appropriate mark,

and accordingly such voter shall, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any other provision of this Ordinance, not be entitled to vote at such election.

(2) The presiding officer of the polling station shall enter on a list, substantially in the form set out in the Seventh Schedule, the following particulars relating to each voter to whom a ballot paper was not delivered at such station under subsection (1)—

(a) the number of such voter in the electoral list of the ward in which the election is held;

[S 53A(2)(a) am by s 38 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(b) the name and address of such voter as it appears in such list; and

(c) the ground on which a ballot paper was not delivered to such voter.

Such list is in this Ordinance called the list of voters to whom ballot papers are not delivered under section 53A.

[S 53A(2) subs by s 58 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(3) In this section—

(a) the expression “appropriate mark” means a mark made with indelible ink;

(b) the term “appropriate”, with reference to any context connected with or relating to the inspection or marking of a voter, means—

(i) the little finger of his left hand or, if such finger is missing, any other finger of his left hand; or

(ii) if all the fingers of his left hand are missing, the little finger of his right hand or, if such finger is missing, any other finger of his right hand; or

(iii) if all the fingers of his left and right hands are missing, such extremity of his left or right hand as such voter possesses.

(4) Every person who—

(a) without due authority places an appropriate mark on any voter at any election under this Ordinance or what purports to be or is capable of being mistaken for that mark; or

(b) fraudulently defaces any appropriate mark placed on any voter at such election without due authority,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction after summary trial before a Magistrate, be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred rupees or to imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

[S 53A ins by s 11 of Act 15 of 1965.]

54. Assistance to voters to enable them to vote.

(1) The presiding officer, or any person authorised by the presiding officer, may, if he thinks fit on the application of any voter, explain to the voter, within sight and hearing or the polling agents, if present the method of voting specified in the directions under section 45, but in so doing he shall carefully abstain from any action which might be construed by the voter as advice or a direction to vote for any particular recognised political party or independent group.

[S 54(1) am by s 59 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(2) —

(a) Any voter who is subject to a disability and such disability prevents the voter from voting in accordance with the directions given for the guidance of voters in the Second Schedule to the principal enactment, may be accompanied by a person who shall mark the ballot paper of such voter in the manner directed by the voter in the presence of the presiding officer and another member of his polling staff and cause such ballot paper to be placed in the ballot box.

(b) A person subject to a disability who wishes to be accompanied by a person to vote shall be eligible to do so if such person produces a Certificate of Eligibility substantially in the Form set out in the Tenth Schedule to this Act, to the presiding officer or another member of his staff.

(c) For the purposes of this section—

“accompanying person” shall be a person not less than eighteen years of age and shall—

(i) not be a candidate who is contesting at the relevant election;

(ii) not be a presiding officer, an authorized officer or a polling agent at the relevant election;

(iii) not be a person subject to a disability;

“disability” in relation to a registered voter who is subject to a disability and who is eligible to vote in terms of
paragraph (b) of this section, means—

(i) a total or partial visual impairment; or

(ii) a physical disability,

which prevents the voter from validly marking his ballot paper.”.

[S 54(2) subs by s 2 of Act 28 of 2011.]

55. Voting by proxy forbidden.

No voter shall be entitled to vote by proxy at any election for any electoral area.

[S 55 subs by s 60 of Law 24 of 1977.]

56. Tendered ballot papers.

If a person, representing himself to be a particular voter named on the electoral list, applies for a ballot paper after another person has voted as such voter, the applicant shall, on making and subscribing the first declaration set out in section 52(1), be entitled to receive and to mark a ballot paper in the same manner as any other voter, but the ballot paper (hereinafter referred to as “a tendered ballot paper”) shall be of a colour differing from the other ballot papers, and instead of being put into the ballot box shall be given to the presiding officer and endorsed by him with the name of the voter and his number in the electoral list. The name of the voter and his number on the list shall be entered in a list to be known as “the tendered votes list”. The tendered ballot papers shall be set aside in a separate packet and shall not be counted by the counting officer.

[S 56 subs by s 61 of Law 24 of 1977.]

57. Spoilt ballot papers.

A voter who has inadvertently dealt with his ballot paper in such manner that it cannot be conveniently used as a ballot paper may, on delivering it to the presiding officer and proving the fact of the inadvertence to the satisfaction of the presiding officer, obtain another ballot paper in the place of the ballot paper so delivered up (hereafter referred to as “a spoilt ballot paper”), and the spoilt ballot paper shall be immediately cancelled.

CLOSURE OF POLL

58. Closure of poll.

No ballot paper shall be delivered to a voter after the hour fixed for the closing of the poll. But if at the hour aforesaid there is in any polling station any voter to whom a ballot paper has been delivered, such voter shall be allowed to record his vote.

59. Procedure on closure of the poll.

(1) As soon as practicable after the closure of the poll, the presiding officer of each polling station shall, in the presence of the polling agents make up into separate packets, sealed with his own seal and the seals of such polling agents as desire to affix their seals—

(a) each ballot box used at that station together with the key of the box, each such box remaining locked as it was at the time of the opening of the poll and being sealed after the closure of the poll so as to prevent the introduction of any ballot papers thereafter;

(b) the unused and spoilt ballot papers, placed together;

(c) the tendered ballot papers;

(d) the marked copies of the electoral list and the counterfoils of the ballot papers;

(e) the tendered votes list; and

(f) the list of voters to whom ballot papers are not delivered under section 53A,

and shall deliver the packets to the counting officer.

[S 59(1) am by s 17 of Act 24 of 1987.]

(2) The packets shall be accompanied by a statement (hereinafter referred to as “the ballot paper account”) made by the presiding officer, showing the number of ballot papers entrusted to him and accounting for them under the heads of—

(a) ballot papers in the ballot box;

(b) unused and spoilt ballot papers; and

(c) tendered ballot papers.

[S 59 subs by s 62 of Law 24 of 1977.]

59A. Counting of votes.

(1) Where there are more than one polling stations for counting votes, in each division, the counting of votes in each such polling station shall take place as decided by the relevant returning officer at each such polling station.

(2) The senior presiding officer of each polling station or where there is only one presiding officer, such presiding officer, shall function as the counting officer of that station and the staff at that polling station shall function as the counting staff. However, where the returning officer is of the opinion that the counting staff or an officer of such staff of that station is incapable of performing the duties entrusted to such staff or such officer, or is not suitable for the performance of the duties as a counting staff or as an officer of such staff, the returning officer may, appoint another counting staff in place of such counting staff or another officer in the place of such officer of that staff, as the case may be.

(3) Subject to the general or special directions of the Commissioner, each returning officer of an electoral area shall appoint one of the senior presiding officers appointed under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 40, or where only a single presiding officer is appointed, such presiding officer, to be the chief counting officer for each ward of that electoral area. The returning officer may at the same time appoint such number of assistants and clerks and other officers as he may consider necessary to assist the counting officer and the chief counting officer, as the case may be, in the performance of their duties.

(4) Where there are any objections from the authorised agents relating to the functioning of any person as a counting officer of any polling station, or if the returning officer is of the opinion that the counting officer appointed to any polling station is incapable of performing the duties entrusted to him or is not suitable for the performance of the duties as a counting officer, the returning officer may appoint any other senior presiding officer or an assistant returning officer as a counting officer in place of the first mentioned officer.

[S 59A subs by s 39 of Act 22 of 2012; am by s 20 of Act 16 of 2017.]

59B. Change of venue for counting of votes.

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 59A, where as a result of any incidents or disturbances which took place at a polling station during a poll or thereafter or due to any other security reasons, the presiding officer of such polling station is of the opinion that the counting of votes should not take place at the polling station, he shall inform the returning officer through the assistant returning officer who supervises the polling in the ward in which such polling station is situated, of such fact and such returning officer shall thereafter determine the new venue at which the counting of votes shall take place.

[S 59B(1) am by s 21(1) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(2) In the event of a change of venue of a counting centre under subsection (1), adequate notice of the new venue at which the counting is due to take place and the time at which the counting is due to commence, shall be notified by the assistant returning officer to the returning officer and thereafter to the counting agents appointed under section 60, who are present at the counting centre at the particular time.

[S 59B(2) am by s 21(2) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(3) After the returning officer being notified of the new venue, the counting of votes at the new venue as determined by the supervising assistant returning officer shall be conducted by the presiding officer of the polling station, with the assistance of the staff at that polling station.

[S 59B(3) am by s 21(3) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(4) At the close of the counting of votes at the new venue, the counting officer shall submit to the returning officer of the electoral area, a report on the incident, disturbance or the security reason, as the case may be, which warranted the change of the venue of the counting centre and a copy of the same shall also be submitted to the Commissioner.

[S 59B ins by s 40 of Act 22 of 2012; am by s 21 of Act 16 of 2017.]

60. Appointment of counting agents.

Each authorised agent of a recognised political party or group leader of an independent group, on the case may be, shall be entitled to appoint two agents (hereinafter referred to as the “counting agents”) to attend the counting of votes at each polling station. The names, addresses and the National Identity Card numbers of the agents so appointed should be given in writing to the counting officer before the commencement of the count. A candidate can remain in the polling station at the time of the counting of votes, only as a counting agent.

[S 60 subs by s 41 of Act 22 of 2012.]

61. Time of count and declaration of result.

(1) The counting officer of each polling station shall make arrangements for the counting the votes in the presence of the counting agents, as soon as possible after the close of the poll.

(2) The counting officer shall on completing the counting of votes forward the result of such count to the chief counting officer appointed to the ward under subsection (3) of section 59A.

(3) The time of commencement of the count and the time and place of declaration of the result of such count, shall be intimated in writing by the returning officer of the electoral area to all the candidates who are contesting in the particular ward.

[S 61 subs by s 41 of Act 22 of 2012.]

61A. Counting of postal ballots.

The postal ballot papers in respect of any electoral area shall be counted in accordance with the regulations set out in the Ninth Schedule at a separate counting centre or such number of counting centres as may be determined by the returning officer.

[S 61A ins by s 20 of Act 24 of 1987.]

62. The count.

(1) Except with the consent of the counting officer, no person other than the counting officer, the persons appointed to assist him, and the counting agents may be present at the counting of the votes.

(2) Before the counting officer proceeds to count the votes, he shall, in the presence of the counting agents, open each ballot box and, taking out the ballot papers therein, shall count and record the number thereof, and then mix together the whole of the papers contained in the ballot boxes.

(3) The counting officer, while counting and recording the number of ballot papers and counting the votes, shall keep the ballot papers with their faces upwards, and take all proper precautions for preventing any person from seeing the numbers printed on the back of the papers.

[S 62 subs by s 65 of Law 24 of 1977.]

63. Rejected ballot papers.

(1) Any ballot paper—

(a) which does not bear the official mark; or

(b) on which votes are marked for more than one recognised political party or independent group; or

[S 63(1)(b) subs by s 42(1)(a) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(c) on which anything is written or marked by which the voter can be identified except the printed number on the back; or

(d) which is unmarked or void for uncertainty as to which recognised political party or independent group the vote is marked;

[S 63(1)(d) subs by s 42(1)(b) of Act 22 of 2012.]

The counting officer shall endorse the word “rejected” on any such ballot paper.

[S 63(1) subs by s 66 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(2) Where the counting officer is satisfied that any mark made on a ballot paper clearly indicates the intention of the voter to give his vote and the recognised political party or independent group for whom he gives his vote, the counting officer shall not reject the ballot paper under subsection (1) on the ground solely that it has not been marked in all respects in accordance with the directions given for the guidance of voters under the provisions of this Ordinance.

[S 63(2) subs by s 66 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(3) Where the counting officer is satisfied that a ballot paper is not a forged or counterfeit ballot paper he shall not reject it solely on the ground that it is not stamped or perforated with the official mark. Before deciding not to reject a ballot paper under the preceding provisions of this subsection the counting officer shall show it to each counting agent if present and hear his views thereon.

[S 63(3) subs by s 66 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(4) The counting officer shall not count any ballot paper which is rejected by him under subsection (1).

[S 63(4) subs by s 66 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(4A) A counting officer may, upon an application made in that behalf by an agent present during the time that the count is being done, carry out a recount of the ballot papers which were not rejected under subsection (1), so however the maximum number of recounts that shall be so carried out on any application made by a candidate or his agent, shall not exceed two.

[S 63(4A) ins by s 42(2) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(5) The counting officer shall draw up a statement showing separately the number of ballot papers rejected, under each of the grounds specified in subsection (1), and shall on request allow any counting agent to copy the statement.

[S 63(5) subs by s 66 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(6) The counting officer shall prepare a written statement in words as well as in figures, of the number of votes given to each recognised political party or independent group. The statement so prepared should be certified by the counting officer and witnessed by one of his clerks and the counting agents who are present and who desires to sign.

[S 63(6) subs by s 42(2) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(6A) …

[S 63(6A) ins by s 21 of Act 24 of 1987; rep by s 42(3) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(6B) …

[S 63(6B) ins by s 21 of Act 24 of 1987; rep by s 10 of Act 25 of 1990.]

(6C) …

[S 63(6C) ins by s 21 of Act 24 of 1987; rep by s 42(3) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(7) …

[S 63(7) subs by s 66 of Law 24 of 1977; rep by s 42(3) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(8) The decision of the counting officer as to any question arising in respect of any ballot paper shall be final and conclusive.

[S 63(8) subs by s 66 of Law 24 of 1977.]

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

Any power, duty or function of a counting officer under section 62 or section 63 may be exercised, performed or discharged for and on his behalf by any of his assistants or clerks acting under the supervision and direction of such officer.

[S 63A subs by s 67 of Law 24 of 1977.]

64. Closure of the count.

(1) Upon the completion of the counting the counting officer shall seal up in separate packets the counted and rejected ballot papers.

(2) Each counting officer shall deliver to the chief counting officer in charge of the ward appointed under subsection (3) of section 59A, the packets containing unused ballot papers, spoilt ballot papers, tendered ballot papers, marked copies of the electoral list, counterfoils of the ballot papers issued, tendered votes list, the list of voters to whom ballot papers were not issued under section 53A, the ballot paper account, written statement of the number of votes given to each recognised political party on independent group and the record of the counting of votes under subsection (2) of section 62, together with the sealed packets referred to in subsection (1).

[S 64 subs by s 68 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 22 of Act 24 of 1987; 64(2) subs by s 43 of Act 22 of 2012.]

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

(1) Upon receipt of the documents referred to in section 64 and the declaration under regulation 28(c) of the Ninth Schedule hereto, the chief counting officer in charge of the ward appointed under subsection (3) of section 59A, shall declare as elected as member of the ward, the name of the candidate belonging to the recognised political party or the independent group which obtained the highest number of votes in that ward and who was nominated by such recognised political party or independent group in its nomination paper as its candidates for that ward. He shall also declare the number of votes received by all the other recognised political parties and independent groups, which contested the election in that ward.

[S 65(1) am by s 24 of Act 16 of 2017.]

(2) Where an equality of votes is found to exist between any two or more recognised political parties or two or more independent groups, and the addition of a vote would entitle the nominated candidate of one such recognised political party or independent group to be elected, the determination of the recognised political party or independent group to which such additional vote shall be deemed to have been given, shall be made by lot drawn in the presence of the chief counting officer, in such manner as he shall determine.

(3) Upon the declaration of the candidate who is elected as the member of a ward under subsection (1), the chief counting officer concerned shall deliver to the returning officer all the documents referred to in subsection (2) of section 64, which are in his possession.

[S 65 subs by s 44 of Act 22 of 2012.]

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

(1) In the case of a multi member ward. the candidates to be declared as elected members of that ward, shall be based on the number of votes polled by each recognised political party and independent group which contested the election in such ward, the candidate of the recognised political party or the independent group, as the case may be, which polled the highest number of votes being declared first as an elected member for that ward and the balance number of members required to be elected as members of that ward, being declared accordingly.

(2) If due to any reason whatsoever, a single recognised political party or independent group alone has contested at an election in any multi member ward, the candidates to be declared elected as members of such multi member ward shall be nominated by the secretary of the recognised political party or the leader of the independent group, as the case may be, from among the persons whose names appear in the list of additional persons included in the nomination paper submitted by such recognised political party or independent group, as the case may be.

[S 65A subs by s 45 of Act 22 of 2012.]

65AA. Apportionment of women members.

(1) Where the number of members elected from any recognised political party or independent group for a Local Authority results in an overhang and thereby exceeds the number ascertained to be elected and returned as members under sub section (3) of section 65(3), and such number of members so elected do not include any women members, then the provisions of subsections (3) and (4) of this section shall not apply to such recognised political party or independent group.

(2) Where any recognised political party or independent group has received less than twenty per centum of the total number of votes polled in a local authority area, and has less than three members elected or returned, then the provisions of subsections (3) and (4) of this section shall not apply to such recognised political party or independent group.

(3) The apportionment of women members to be elected and returned to each local authority from the recognised political parties and independent groups other than the political parties and the independent groups referred to in subsection (2) of this section, shall be determined by the Commissioner of Elections, taking into consideration the number of valid votes polled by the other recognised political parties and independent groups in all wards of such local authority, and the method of apportionment set out in Article 99A of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka shall mutatis mutandis apply thereto.

(4) Where the number of women members elected for all wards of any local authority area from any recognised political party or independent group other than the recognised political party or independent group referred to in subsection (1) or (2) of this section, is less than the number apportioned in terms of subsection (3) of this section, then the shortfall in the number of members shall be returned from among the women candidates in the first nomination paper or the additional nomination paper other than the women candidates who have been elected or are disqualified to be a member under section 9.

[S 65AA ins by s 4 of Act 1 of 2016; subs by s 25 of Act 16 of 2017.]

65B. Candidates entitled to be elected or returned.

(1) Upon the declaration under section 65 of all the members elected for all the wards of the electoral area, the number of members for that local authority to be returned under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 5 of the Municipal Councils Ordinance, paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 5 of the Urban Councils Ordinance or paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 4 of the Pradeshiya Sabha Act as the case may be, shall be apportioned in the manner hereinafter provided for in this section.

(2) The total number of valid votes received by all the candidates of each recognised political party and independent group in a local authority area shall be divided by the total number of members to be elected and returned to the Local Authority Area. The number resulting from such division (any fraction not being taken into account) shall hereinafter in this section be referred to as “the qualifying number”.

[S 65B(2) am by s 26(1) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(3) The aggregate of the votes received by the candidates of each recognised political party and independent group in the respective local authority area shall then be divided by the qualifying number, in order to ascertain the number of persons entitled to be elected and returned as members of that local authority. Where the number ascertained by this method is an integer and a fraction, the integer shall be deemed to be the number for the purpose of this subsection.

[S 65B(6) renumbered as s 65B(3) and am by s 24(2)(i) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(4) Upon ascertaining the number of candidates entitled to be elected and returned as members of that local authority by each recognised political party or independent group, as the case may be, in terms of subsection (3), if it is found that the number of members elected from such recognised political party or independent group for that local authority—

(a) exceeds the number ascertained to be elected and returned as members under subsection (3), then such overhang shall be determined by the Commissioner of Elections; or

(b) falls short of the number ascertained to be elected and returned as members under subsection (3), then such additional number of members, shall be returned by the respective secretary of the recognised political party or leader of the independent group from the candidates of the First Nomination Paper or the Additional Nomination Paper other than the candidates who have been elected or are not disqualified to be a member under section 9.

[S 65B(4) ins by s 24(3) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(5) Where at the conclusion of ascertaining the number of members to be returned by any recognised political party or independent group on the method specified in subsection (3), there remains a further number of members to be returned under the proportional representation system as determined under subsection (4), such remaining number shall be allocated on the basis of the highest fraction received by each recognised political party or independent group, as ascertained under subsection (3).

[S 65B(7) renumbered as s 65B(5) and am by s 24(4) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(6) The assistant returning officer shall inform the secretary of the recognised political party or the leader of the independent group, as the case may be, which is entitled to return such number of members as ascertained under subsection (3) of this section and subsection (3) of section 65AA, of the number of members including women members that such recognised political party or independent group, as the case may be, is entitled to be elected and returned from the candidates of the First Nomination Paper or the Additional Nomination Paper other than the candidates who have been elected or are not disqualified to be a member under section 9, paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 5 of the Municipal Councils Ordinance, paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 5 of the Urban Councils Ordinance or paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 4 of the Pradeshiya Sabha Act, as the case may be, the names of persons who are to be retuned as members under that subsection.

[S 65B(8) renumbered as s 65B(6) and am by s 24(5) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(7) The names of the candidates who are returned under this section shall thereafter be declared by the assistant returning officer of the respective electoral area.

[S 65B ins by s 46 of Act 22 of 2012; s 65B(9) renumbered as s 65B(7) by s 26(5)(i) of Act 16 of 2017.]

66. Publication of the result.

(1) Upon the declaration of the candidates elected as members of each ward under section 65 and of those candidates returned under section 65A and section 65AA of this Ordinance in respect of a local authority, the assistant returning officer of the electoral area of such local authority shall—

(a) publish a notice specifying the names of all the candidates elected or returned as members of the local authority; and

(b) report to the Commissioner the result through the election officer of the district in which the electoral area is situated.

[S 66(1) am by s 5 of Act 1 of 2016.]

(2) The Commissioner shall upon receipt of the report of the result, cause the names of the candidates elected to be members of that local authority, to be published in the Gazette.

[S 66 subs by s 47 of Act 22 of 2012.]

66A. Filling of vacancies in local authorities.

(1) Where the office of a member of a local authority falls vacant under the provisions of the Municipal Councils Ordinance, Urban Councils Ordinance or the Pradeshiya Sabha Act, as the case may be, the returning officer appointed for the electoral area in which such local authority is situated, shall, where such vacancy is in respect of a member—

(a) elected for any ward in that electoral area by ballot, request the secretary to the recognised political party or the leader of the independent group, as the case may be, to which such member belongs, to nominate any other candidate of the First Nomination Paper or the Additional Nomination Paper other than the candidates who have been elected or are not disqualified to be a member under section 9; as a member of local authority to fill that vacancy in the ward in which the vacancy has occurred; or

[S 66A(1)(a) am by s 27(a) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(b) returned under section 65A and 65AA of this Ordinance then, depending on whether the candidate whose office fell vacant is from a recognised political party or an independent group, call upon the Secretary of the recognised political party or the leader of the independent group, as the case may be, to nominate candidate to fill such vacancy from candidates of the First Nomination Paper or the Additional Nomination Paper other than the candidates who have been elected or are not disqualified to be a member under section 9 in terms of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 5 of the Municipal Councils Ordinance or paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 5 of the Urban Councils Ordinance or paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 4 of the Pradeshiya Sabha Act, No. 15 of 1987, as the case may be:

Provided that, where a vacancy occurs in the case of a woman member of a Local Authority, then such vacancy shall be filled only by the nomination of a woman candidate form the First Nomination Paper or the Additional Nomination Paper other than the women candidates who have been elected or are not disqualified to be a member under section 9.

[S 66A(1)(b) am by s 6(a) of Act 1 of 2016; s 27(b) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(1A) Where no person remains to be nominated to fill a vacancy referred to in subsection (1) from the candidates of the First Nomination Paper and the Additional Nomination Paper, the returning officer appointed for the electoral area in which such Local Authority is situated shall request within thirty days of the occurrence of the vacancy, the secretary to the recognised political party or the leader of the independent group to which the member whose vacancy occurred belonged, to nominate within thirty days from such request, any other person who is qualified under section 8 of this Ordinance to fill that vacancy in the ward in which the vacancy has occurred:

Provided that, where a vacancy occurs in the case of a woman member of a local authority, then such vacancy shall be filled only by the nomination of any other woman who is qualified under section 8 of this Ordinance.

[S 66A(1A) ins by s 27(d) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(2) The candidate elected to fill a vacancy of any member of a local authority under subsection (1), shall hold office only for the unexpired period of the term of office of the member whom he succeeds.

[S 66A ins by s 48 of Act 22 of 2012.]

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

(1) Where any recognised political party or independent group has obtained fifty per centum or more of the total number of seats in a local authority, the Commissioner shall upon the publication by the Commissioner under subsection (2) of section 66 of names of the candidates elected as members of such local authority, call upon the secretary of such recognised political party or the leader of that independent group, as the case may be, to determine from among members who belong to such recognised political party or the independent group, as the case may be, the members who shall be declared as the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor, respectively, of such local authority.

(2) Where the office of Mayor or Deputy Mayor as determined under subsection (1) of this section falls vacant during the term of office of such local authority, the Commissioner of Local Government shall inform such fact to the returning officer in writing and the returning officer shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, call upon the secretary of the recognised political party or the leader of the independent group, as the case, may be, to which such Mayor or the Deputy Mayor belonged, to determine the members from among the members of that local authority who belong to such recognised political party or the independent group, as the case may be, who shall become the new Mayor or the Deputy Mayor of the local authority and communicate the same, within thirty days to the returning officer. Upon receipt of such determination, the returning officer shall declare the member named in such determination, as the new Mayor or the Deputy Mayor, as the case may be, of that local authority.

[S 66B(2) am by s 28(1) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(3) In the event that such communication is not received within the aforesaid thirty days under subsection (2), the returning officer shall proceed to appoint as the new Mayor or deputy Mayor, the member who has obtained the highest percentage of votes and who belongs to the recognized, political party or the independent group as the case may be, to which the Mayor or the Deputy Mayor whose office fell vacant belonged.

[S 66B(3) am by s 28(2) of Act 16 of 2017.]

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, where a vacancy occurs in the office of Mayor as a result of the Mayor being deemed to have resigned his office under section 215A of the Municipal Councils Ordinance or section 178A of the Urban Councils Ordinance or section 169 of the Pradeshiya Sabha Act, No. 15 of 1987, as the case may be, and such vacancy in the office of Mayor is filled in terms of the procedure specified in this Ordinance, and the member so appointed to fill such vacancy himself resigns from his office, the vacancy so created thereafter shall not be filled in terms of the procedure specified in this Ordinance. In such an instance, the local authority in which the vacancy in the office of Mayor has occurred for the second time shall be deemed to be dissolved and the Minister shall appoint a Commissioner for the local authority concerned, who shall hold office as a Commissioner, for the balance period remaining of the term of office of the members of such local authority.

[S 66B ins by s 48 of Act 22 of 2012; s 66B(4) am by s 28(3) of Act 16 of 2017.]

66C. First meeting of the local authority.

(1) Where any recognised political party or independent group has obtained less fifty per centum of the total number of seats in a local authority, the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor of such local authority shall be elected at the firs meeting of such local authority.

(2) The first meeting of the Council shall be convened by the Commissioner of Local Government within one week of the publication by the Commissioner under subsection (2) of section 66, of the names of the candidates elected and returned as members of any local authority, by notice published in that behalf. Such notice shall be given not less than seven days before the date fixed for the meeting and shall be—

(a) published in the Gazette and in one newspaper each, in all the three languages; and

(b) dispatched by registered post to each of the members of that Council.

(3) Every notice published under subsection (1), shall specify the date, time and place of the first meeting and the date to be so specified shall be a date within one month next succeeding the date appointed for the commencement of the term of office of the Council or in the case of a Council elected as successor to a Council going out of office otherwise than by effluxion of time, within one month next succeeding the date on which the election or nomination of the members of the new Council is completed.

(4) Where for any reason the meeting is not held on the date specified in the notice published under subsection (1), the Commissioner of Local Government may, by further notice or notices published in that behalf, convene the meeting for any other date, so however that such other date is within one month next succeeding the date specified in the notice published under subsection (2).

[S 66C ins by s 48 of Act 22 of 2012.]

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

(1) The first meeting and any other meeting that may be convened under section 66C until the election of a Mayor, shall be presided over by the Commissioner of Local Government. (in this section referred to as the “presiding officer”).

(2) The members of the Council shall at its first meeting, elect one of their members to be the Mayor of the Council.

(3) The election of the Mayor of the Council under subsection (2) shall not take place, unless there is present at such meeting a quorum consisting of not less than half the membership of the Council.

(4) Any member of the Council may, with his consent, be proposed and seconded for election as Mayor by any other member present at the meeting.

(5) Where only one members name is proposed and seconded for election as Mayor, the presiding officer of the meeting at which the election takes place, shall declare that member elected as the Mayor.

(6) Where two or more member’s names are proposed and seconded for election as Mayor, the mode of election shall be by open voting, and the presiding officer shall take the votes by calling the name of each member present and asking him how he desires to vote and recording the votes accordingly. A member may decline to vote and in such a case, the presiding officer shall record the fact of such member declining to vote.

(7) At the end of the proceedings for the election of a Mayor, the presiding officer shall declare the result of the voting.

[S 66D ins by s 48 of Act 22 of 2012.]

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

(1) Where the names of more than two members are proposed and seconded for election as mayor and no single member receives at the first voting more votes than the aggregate of the votes received by the remaining members, one member shall be excluded from the election as hereinafter provided, and the voting shall proceed in the same manner, one member being excluded from the election after each subsequent voting, until a member receives more votes than the aggregate of the votes received by the remaining members at that voting or until voting in respect of two members only is held and completed, as the case may be.

(2) The manner in which a member may be excluded from the election as referred to in subsection (1), shall be as follows :—

(a) if the number of votes received by one member is lower than the number of votes received by each of the remaining members, the candidate receiving the lowest number shall be excluded; and

(b) if each of all the members receive an equal number of votes or if each of two or more members receives an equal number of votes which is less than the number of votes received by the remaining member or each of the remaining members, one of the members receiving the equal number of votes shall be excluded and the determination as to which of the members is to be excluded, shall be made by lot to be drawn in the presence of the presiding officer, in such manner as he shall determine.

(3) Where there are two members at any voting and the number of votes cast is equally divided and the addition of one vote would entitle one of the members to be elected as Mayor, the determination of the member to whom the additional vote shall be deemed to have been given, shall be made by lot to be drawn in the presence of the presiding officer, in such manner as he shall determine.

[S 66E ins by s 48 of Act 22 of 2012.]

66F. Election of Deputy Mayor.

(1) The first Deputy Mayor of a local authority shall be elected at the first meeting of the Council held under section 66c, presided over by the newly elected Mayor.

(2) The provisions of sections 66C and 66D shall apply in respect of the election of a Deputy Mayor, in like manner as though every reference in that section to “Mayor” were a reference to “Deputy Mayor”.

[S 66F ins by s 48 of Act 22 of 2012.]

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

Whenever the office of Mayor or Deputy Mayor of a Council falls vacant during the term of office of such Council, the Commissioner of Local Government shall, within two weeks of his receiving notice from the Council of such vacancy and by notice or notices served in accordance with the provisions of subsections (2) or (4) of section 66C, convene a meeting for the election of a new Mayor or Deputy Mayor, as the case may be, and the date specified for the meeting in such notice or notices shall be such as to ensure that the new Mayor or Deputy Mayor, as the case may be, is elected within six weeks next succeeding the occurrence of the vacancy.

[S 66G ins by s 48 of Act 22 of 2012.]

67. Disposal of ballot papers after poll.

(1) …

[S 67(1) rep by s 72(1) of Law 24 of 1977.]

(2) The returning officer shall forward to the district returning officer in which the electoral area is situated, all the ballot papers, a statement of the number of votes given to each candidate, the ballot paper account, tendered votes list, packets of counterfoils and the marked copies of electoral lists sent by the counting officers under section 64, endorsing on each packet a description of its contents, the date of the election to which they relate and the names of the wards in which the election was held.

[S 67(2) subs by s 49 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(3) The district returning officer shall retain the packets of ballot papers and all documents forwarded to him for a period of six months reckoned from the date of the receipt thereof and shall thereafter cause the said packets and documents to be destroyed.

(4) No person shall be entitled or be permitted by the district returning officer to inspect any packet of ballot papers or documents referred to in subsection (3) while it is in the custody of such officer:

Provided, however, that nothing in the preceding provisions of this subsection shall be construed or deemed to debar any competent court from ordering the production of, or from inspecting, or from authorising the inspection of, any such packet or document at any time within the period of six months specified in that subsection.

68. …

[S 68 rep by s 50 of Act 22 of 2012.]

GENERAL PROVISIONS AS TO ELECTIONS

69. Non-compliance with provisions of this Ordinance.

No election shall be invalid by reason of any failure to comply with the provisions of this Ordinance relating to elections if it appears that the election was conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in such provisions, and that such failure did not affect the result of the election.

[S 69 am by s 25 of Act 15 of 1965.]

69A. …

[S 69A rep by s 51 of Act 22 of 2012.]

70. Use of schools as polling stations.

(1) A returning officer may use, free of charge, as a polling station any school or any portion of a school in receipt of a grant, or in respect of which a grant is made out of moneys provided by Parliament.

(2) A returning officer shall make good any damage done to, and defray any expenses incurred by the persons having control over, any such school or portion thereof as aforesaid by reason of its being used as a polling station.

71. …

[S 71 rep by s 15 of Act 9 of 1963.]

72. Presiding officer may act through officers.

The presiding officer of a polling station may do, by the officers appointed to assist him, any act which he is required or appointed to authorised by this Part of this Ordinance to assist him do at that polling station except ordering the arrest, exclusion, or removal of any person from the station.

72A. Disturbances at polling stations.

(1) Where due to the occurrence of certain events of such a nature—

(a) it is not possible to commence the poll at a polling station at the hour fixed for the commencement of the poll;

(b) the poll at such polling station commences at the hour fixed for the commencing of the poll, but cannot be continued until the hour fixed for the closing of the poll;

[S 72A(1)(b) am by s 29 of Act 16 of 2017.]

(c) it is not possible to conduct the poll at that polling station, due to any reason beyond the control of presiding officer;

(d) one or more polling agents are threatened, executed or chased out the polling station during a disturbance at the poll;

(e) the polling staff is unable to arrive at the polling station due to any obstructions on the way;

(f) any disturbance of peace at the polling station makes it impossible to conduct the poll at such polling station;

(g) any stuffing of ballot papers is forcibly carried out by any person; or

(h) there is no genuine, free, fair and secret poll at any polling station,

the presiding officer of that polling station shall forthwith inform the returning officer, who in turn shall inform the Commissioner of such event.

(2) The Commissioner may upon receiving any information under subsection (2) and after making such inquiries as he may consider necessary to ascertain the accuracy of such information received, by Order published in the Gazette declare the poll taken at such polling station void.

[S 72A ins by s 52 of Act 22 of 2012.]

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

A candidate for election at any election under this Ordinance may himself do any act or thing which a counting agent of his, if appointed, would have been required or authorized to do or may assist such agent in doing any such act or thing. However prior to acting under this section, the candidate shall make the declaration required to be made by such an agent.

[S 73 subs by s 53 of Act 22 of 2012.]

74. Non-attendance of the agents of candidates.

Where under this Ordinance any act or thing is required or authorized to be done in the presence of any agent or agents of the candidate at any election under this Ordinance, the non-attendance of any such agent or agents at the time and the place appointed for the purpose shall not, if that act or thing is otherwise duly done, invalidate the act or thing done.

[S 74 subs by s 54 of Act 22 of 2012.]

75. Prohibition of disclosure of vote.

Person who has voted at any election under this Ordinance shall not, in any legal proceeding instituted to question such election, be required to state for whom he voted.

[S 75 subs by s 55 of Act 22 of 2012.]

75A. Group leader.

Where any person designated as the group leader of an independent group dies during pendency of, or after, an election, to a local authority, the person whose name has been nominated by the group leader as his authorized agent shall be deemed to be the group leader of that independent group.

[S 75A ins by s 26 of Act 24 of 1987; 75A subs by s 56 of Act 22 of 2012.]

76. Maintenance of secrecy at elections.

(1) Every returning officer, and every officer, polling agent or counting agent, authorised to attend at a polling station or at the counting of the votes at any election under this Ordinance, shall, before the opening of the poll at such election, or in the case of an agent appointed after the opening of the poll, before acting as such agent, make a declaration of secrecy substantially in the form set out in the Fourth Schedule. In the case of a returning officer the declaration shall be made in the presence of a Justice of the Peace, and in the case of any other officer or of an agent, the declaration shall be made either in the presence of a Justice of the Peace or of the returning officer or presiding officer.

(2) Every returning officer, and every officer, polling agent or counting agent in attendance at a polling station or at the counting of the votes at any election under this Ordinance shall maintain and aid in maintaining the secrecy of the voting.

(3) No person, being an officer or agent referred to in subsection (1), shall—

(a) except for some purpose authorised by law, communicate, before the poll at any election under this Ordinance is closed, to any person any information as to—

(i) the name or number on the electoral list of any voter who has or has not applied for a ballot paper or voted at a polling station; or

(ii) the official mark; or

(b) ascertain or attempt to ascertain at the counting of the votes at such election, the number on the back of any ballot paper; or

(c) communicate any information obtained at such counting, as to the candidate for whom any vote is given on any particular ballot paper.

(4) No person, whether or not such person is an officer or agent referred to in subsection (1), shall—

(a) interfere with or attempt to interfere with a voter when recording his vote at any election under this Ordinance, or

(b) otherwise obtain or attempt to obtain in a polling station information as to the recognised political party or independent group for whom a voter in that station is about to vote or has voted at such election; or

[S 76(4)(b) subs by s 77 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(c) communicate at any time to any person any information obtained in a polling station as to the recognised political party or independent group for which a voter in that station is about to vote or has voted at such election, or as to the number on the back of the ballot paper given to a voter at that station; or

[S 76(4)(c) subs by s 77 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(d) directly or indirectly induce a voter at such election to display his ballot paper after he has marked it so as to make known to any person the recognised political party or independent group for or against which he has so marked his vote.

[S 76(4)(d) subs by s 77 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(4A) Every person accompanying a voter who is subject to a disability, to a polling station to mark and place the ballot paper of such voter in the ballot box as directed by the voter, shall maintain and aid in maintaining the secrecy of such voting.

[S 76(4A) ins by s 3 of Act 28 of 2011.]

(4B) It shall be the duty of the presiding officer to maintain a record of the relevant information of every person accompanying a voter who is subject to a disability to a polling station to mark the ballot paper of such voter.”.

[S 76(4B) ins by s 3 of Act 28 of 2011.]

(5) No person, except a presiding officer of a polling station acting for a purpose authorised by this Ordinance, or a person authorised by the presiding officer and acting for such purpose as aforesaid, shall communicate with any voter at any election under this Ordinance after such voter shall have received the ballot paper and before he shall have placed the same in a ballot box.

76A. Commissioner to issue directions.

If any difficulty arises in the conduct of an election under this Ordinance, the Commissioner may by Order published in the Gazette, issue all such directions as he may consider necessary, with a view to providing for any special or unforeseen circumstances or for the determination or adjustment of any question or matter for the determination or adjustment of which, no provision or effective provision is made by this Ordinance.

[S 76A ins by s 57 of Act 22 of 2012.]

OFFENCES RELATING TO ELECTIONS

77. Contravention of provisions regarding secrecy.

Every person who contravenes any of the provisions of section 76 shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction after summary trial before a Magistrate, be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred rupees, or to imprisonment of either description for any term not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

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

(1) Every person who—

(a) forges or fraudulently defaces or fraudulently destroys any nomination paper, or delivers to a returning officer any nomination paper knowing the same to be forged; or

(aa) …

[S 78(1)(aa) rep by s 58 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(b) forges or counterfeits or fraudulently defaces or fraudulently destroys any ballot paper or the official mark on any ballot paper; or

(c) without due authority supplies any ballot paper to any person; or

(d) sells or offers to sell any ballot paper to any person or purchases or offers to purchase any ballot paper from any person; or

(e) not being a person entitled under this Ordinance to be in possession of any ballot paper which has been marked with the official mark in accordance with the provisions of section 52, has any such ballot paper in his possession; or

(ee) willfully displays a marked ballot paper inside a polling station; or

[S 78(1)(ee) ins by s 27(1) of Act 24 of 1987.]

(f) puts into any ballot box anything other than the ballot paper which he is authorised to put into that ballot box under this Ordinance; or

(g) without due authority takes out of a polling station any ballot paper; or

(h) without due authority destroys, takes, opens or otherwise interferes with any ballot box or packet of ballot papers in use or intended to be used for the purposes of any election under this Ordinance; or

(i) without due authority prints any ballot paper or what purports to be or is capable of being used as a ballot paper at such election; or

(j) manufactures, constructs, imports into Sri Lanka, has in his possession, supplies or uses for the purposes of such election;

(k) willfully makes a false statement in any application to be treated as a postal voter under this Ordinance, or in any declaration of identity sent to him under the regulations set out in the Ninth Schedule; or

[S 78(1)(k) ins by s 27(2) of Act 24 of 1987.]

(l) without due authority, destroys, takes, opens or otherwise tampers or interferes with, any application to be treated as a postal voter, or any declaration of identity, or any covering envelope or ballot paper envelope within the meaning of the regulations set out in the Ninth Schedule.

[S 78(1)(l) ins by s 27(2) of Act 24 of 1987.]

or causes to be manufactured, constructed, imported into Sri Lanka, supplied or used for the purposes of such election, any appliance, device or mechanism by which a ballot paper may be extracted, affected or manipulated after having been deposited in a ballot box, shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction after summary trial before a Magistrate, be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred rupees, or to imprisonment of either description for any term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

(2) Every person who aids or abets or attempts to commit an offence specified in this section shall be liable to the punishment provided for the offence.

(3) In any prosecution for an offence in relation to the nomination papers, ballot papers, ballot boxes, and marking instruments at any election under this Ordinance, the property in such papers, boxes and instruments may be stated to be in the returning officer at such election as well as the property in the counterfoils.

79. …

[S 79 rep by s 3 of Act 1 of 2002.]

80. …

[S 80 rep by s 3 of Act 1 of 2002.]

81. …

[S 81 rep by s 3 of Act 1 of 2002.]

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

(1) No person shall, on any date on which a poll is taken at a polling station, do any of the following acts within a distance of a quarter of a mile of the entrance of that polling station—

(a) canvassing for votes;

(b) soliciting the vote of any voter;

(c) persuading any voter not to vote for a candidate of any particular political party or independent group;

[S 81A(1)(c) subs by s 59 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(d) persuading any voter not to vote at the election;

(e) distributing or exhibiting any handbill, placard, poster or notice relating to the election (other than any official handbill, placard, poster or notice) or any symbol allotted under section 37 to any recognised political party or independent group.

[S 81A(1)(e) subs by s 80(1)(ii) of Law 24 of 1977; 81A(1) am by s 18 of Act 15 of 1965.]

(2) No person shall, on any date on which a poll is taken at any polling station—

(a) use or operate, within or at the entrance of a polling station or in any public or private place in the neighbourhood thereof, any megaphone or loudspeaker or other apparatus for magnifying or reproducing the human voice; or

(b) shout or otherwise act in a disorderly manner within or at the entrance of a polling station or in any public or private place in the neighbourhood thereof, so as to cause annoyance to any person visiting the polling station for the poll or so as to interfere with the work of the officers and other persons on duty at the polling station.

(2A) No person—

[S 81A(2A) ins by s 18 of Act 15 of 1965.]

(a) who is a candidate nominated by any recognised political party or independent group at any election in any electoral area shall, on the day on which the poll is taken at such election, use in that area any building or structure (whether temporary or otherwise), other than the ordinary place of residence of such candidate for any purpose calculated to promote the election of the candidates of that recognised political party or independent group; or

[S 81A(2A)(a) subs by s 80 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(b) shall, at any time during the period commencing on the first day of the nomination period at any election in any electoral area and ending on the day immediately following the date on which the poll is taken at such election, conduct, hold or take part in any procession other than a procession on May 1, in any year, or any procession for religious or social purposes; or

[S 81A(2A)(b) subs by s 80 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(c) shall, at any procession held or conducted during the period referred to in paragraph (b) of this subsection, do any act or thing calculated to promote the election referred to in the said paragraph (b).

(3) Every person who contravenes any of the provisions of subsection (1), subsection (2) or subsection (2A) 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 or to imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding one month or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(4) Any police officer may take such steps, and use such force, as may be reasonably necessary for preventing any contravention of the provisions of subsection (2) and may seize any apparatus used for such contravention.

[S 81A(4) am by s 18 of Act 15 of 1965.]

(5) Every person who attempts to commit an offence specified in this section shall be liable to the punishment prescribed for that offence.

(6) Every offence under this section shall be a cognizable offence within the meaning of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act.

(7) A prosecution for an offence under this section shall not be instituted without the sanction of the Attorney-General.

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

(1) During the period commencing on the first day of the nomination period of any election under this Ordinance and ending on the day following the day on which the poll is taken at such election, no person shall, for the purposes of promoting the election of any candidate of a recognised political party or independent group at such election, display—

(a) in any premises, whether public or private, any flag or banner except in or on any vehicle that is used for the conveyance of a candidate nominated by a recognised political party or independent group at such election; or

(b) any handbill, placard, poster, notice or sign on any place to which the public have a right of, or are granted, access except in or on any premises on any day on which a meeting in support of a candidate nominated by a recognised political party or independent group at such election is due to be held in that premises; or

(c) any handbill, placard, poster, notice or sign, flag or banner, on or across any public road; or

(d) any handbill, placard, poster, notice or sign in or on any vehicle, except in or on any vehicle that is used for the conveyance of a candidate nominated by a recognised political party or independent group at such election.

[S 81B(1) subs by s 81 of Law 24 of 1977.]

(1A) During the period commencing on the first day of the nomination period of any election under this Ordinance and ending on the day following the date on which the poll is taken at such election—

(a) —

(i) no appointments in any public institution which may have the effect of influencing the voters to vote in favour of any recognised political party or any independent group shall be made;

(ii) notwithstanding anything in subparagraph (i) above an appointment in such institution may be made for the purpose of carrying out essential services as are urgent, the postponement of which will affect the normal life of the public or cause severe hazards or harm to the public; and

(b) no Minister or any Minister of the Board of Ministers of any Provincial Council, shall enter any polling station during the poll or during the counting of votes, except for the purpose of casting his vote.

[S 81B(1A) ins by s 60(1) of Act 22 of 2012; am by s 30 of Act 16 of 2017.]

(2) Every person who contravenes any of the provisions of subsections (1) of (1A) 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 or to imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding one month or to both such fine and imprisonment.

[S 81B(2) am by s 60(2) of Act 22 of 2012.]

(3) Every person who attempts to commit an offence specified in this section shall be liable to the punishment prescribed for that offence.

(4) Every offence under this section shall be a cognizable offence within the meaning of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act.

(5) Any police officer may take such steps, and use such force, as may be reasonably necessary for preventing any contravention of the provisions of subsections (1) or (1A) and may seize and remove any handbill, placard, poster, notice, sign, flag or banner used in such contravention.

[S 81B(5) am by s 60(3) of Act 22 of 2012.]

81C. …

[S 81C rep by s 4 of Act 1 of 2002.]

81D. …

[S 81D rep by s 4 of Act 1 of 2002.]

82. Plural voting.

If any persons votes more than once at any general election under this Ordinance whether in the same ward, the same electoral area or different electoral areas or asks for a ballot paper for the purpose of so voting, such person shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction after summary trial before a Magistrate be liable to rigorous imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

[S 82 subs by s 84 of Law 24 of 1977; am by s 61 of Act 22 of 2012.]

CORRUPT PRACTICES

[Ins by s 5 of Act 1 of 2002.]

82A. Personation.

(1) Every person who at any election—

(a) votes in person or by post as some other person, whether that other person is living or dead or is a fictitious person; or

(b) votes more than once in or under his own name at such election,

shall be guilty of the offence of personation which shall be a cognizable offence within the meaning of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, No. 15 of 1979.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a person who—

(a) has applied for a ballot paper for the purpose of voting in person; or

(b) has made an application to be treated as a postal voter; or

(c) has marked, whether or not validly and returned a ballot paper issued for the purpose of voting by post,

shall be deemed to have voted.

[S 82A ins by s 6 of Act 1 of 2002.]

82B. Treating.

Every person who, corruptly, by himself or by any other person, either before, during or after an election, under this Ordinance, directly or indirectly gives or provides or causes to be given or provided, or is necessary to the giving or providing, or pays or engages to pay wholly or in part the expense or giving or providing any meat, drink, refreshment or provision or any money or ticket or other means or device to enable the procuring of any meat, drink, refreshment or provision to or for any person for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or any other person to give or refrain from giving his vote at such election or on account of any such person any other person having voted or refrained from voting or being about to vote or refrain from voting at such election, and every elector who corruptly accepts or takes any such meat, drink, refreshment or provision or any such money or ticket or who adopts such other means or device to enable the procuring of such meat, drink, refreshment or provision, shall be guilty of the offence of treating.

[S 82B ins by s 6 of Act 1 of 2002.]

82C. Undue influence.

(1) Every person who directly, or indirectly by himself or by any other person on his behalf, makes use of or threatens to make use of any force, violence or restraint or inflicts or threatens to inflict, by himself or by any other person, any temporal or spiritual injury, damage, harm or loss upon or against any person in order to induce or compel such person to vote or refrain from voting or on account of such person having voted or refrained from voting or on account of such person having voted or refrained from voting at an election under this Ordinance, or who by abduction duress, or any fraudulent device or contrivance impedes or prevents the free exercise of the franchise of any elector, or thereby compels induces or prevails upon any elector either to give or refrain from giving his vote at such election shall be guilty of the offence of undue influence.

(2) Every person who, at any time during the period commencing from the first day of the nomination period at any election under this Ordinance and ending on the day following the date of the poll at such election—

(a) utters at any religious assembly any words for the purpose of influencing the result off such election or inducing any elector to vote or refrain from voting for for a candidate of any recognised political party or independent group at such election; or

(b) for such purpose distributes or displays at Any religious assembly, any handbill, placard, poster, drawing, notice, photograph of a candidate, symbol, sign, flag or banner; or

(c) holds or causes to be held any public meeting at a place of worship for the purpose of promoting the election, or the election campaign of for a candidate of any recognised political party or independent group at such election,

shall be guilty of the offence of undue influence.

[S 82C(2) am by s 62 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(3) Any member or official of a religious order or organisation

(a) who denies, or threatens to deny, to any member or adherent of that order or organisation, or to any member of the family or such member or adherent, any spiritual ministration, service or benefit, to which such member or adherent would in the ordinary course have been entitled; or

(b) excludes, or threatens to exclude, such member or adherent from such order or organisation,

in order to induce or compel such member or adherent to vote or refrain from voting for a candidate of any recognised political party or independent group at an election under this Ordinance or to support or refrain from supporting any political party or independent group at such election, or on account of such member or adherent having voted or refrained from voting for a candidate of any recognised political party or independent group at an election, or having supported or refrained from supporting any such recognised political party or independent group at such election, shall be guilty of the offence of undue influence.

[S 82C(3) am by s 62 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(4) Any person who, being the employer of any other person

(a) terminates or threatens to terminate such employment; or

(b) denies or threatens to deny to such other person any benefit or service which such other person has already enjoyed, or would have enjoyed, in the ordinary course of such employment,

in order to induce or compel such other person to vote or refrain from voting for for a candidate of any recognised political party or independent group at an election under this Ordinance or to support or refrain from supporting for a candidate of any recognised political party or independent group at such election, or on account of such other person having voted or refrained from voting for for a candidate of any recognised political party or independent group at such election, or having supported or refrained from supporting for a candidate of any recognised political party or independent group at such election, shall be guilty of the- offence of undue influence.

[S 82C ins by s 6 of Act 1 of 2002; 82C(4) am by s 62 of Act 22 of 2012.]

82D. Bribery.

The Following persons shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence of bribery—

(a) every person who directly or indirectly by himself or by any other person on his behalf, gives, lends, or agrees to give or lend, or offers promises, or promises to procure or to endeavor to procure, any money or valuable consideration to or lot any elector, or to or for any person on behalf of any elector or to or for any other person, in order to induce any elector to vote or refrain From voting or corruptly does any such act as aforesaid on account of such elector having voted or refrained from voting at an election under this ordinance;

(b) every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself, or by any other person on his behalf, gives or procures, of agrees to give or procure or offers, promises, or promises to procure or to endeavor to procure any office, place of employment to or for any elector or to or for any person on behalf of any elector, or to or for any other person, in order to induce such elector to vote or refrain from voting or corruptly does any such act as aforesaid on account of any elector having voted or refrained from voting at any election under this Ordinance;

(c) every person who, directly or indirectly by himself or by any other person on his behalf, makes any such gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement, or agreement as aforesaid to or for any person in order to induce such person to procure or endeavor to procure the return of any person as a member of a local authority or the vote of arty elector at an election under this Ordinance;

(d) every person who upon or in consequence of any such gill, loan, offer, promise, procurement, or agreement procures or engages, promises or endeavors to procure, the return of any person as a member of a local authority, or the vote of any elector at an election under this Ordinance;

(e) every person who advances or pays or causes to be paid any money to, or to the use of, any other person with the intent that, such money or any part thereof shall be expended in bribery at an election under this Ordinance or who knowingly pays or causes to be paid any money to any person in discharge or repayment of any money wholly or in part expended in bribery at such election;

(f) every elector who, before or during an election under this Ordinance, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, receives, agrees or contracts for any money, gift, loan, or valuable consideration, office, place or employment, for himself or for any other person, for voting or agreeing to vote or for refraining or agreeing to refrain from voting at such election;

(g) every person who, after an election under this ordinance, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, receives any money or valuable consideration on account of any person having voted or refrained from voting or having induced any other person to vote or to refrain from voting at such election;

(h) every poison who directly or indirectly by himself or by any other person on his behalf on account of and as payment lot voting or for having voted or for agreeing or having agreed to vote for any candidate of a recognised political party or independent group at an election under this Ordinance or on account of and as payment for his having assisted or agreed to assist any candidate of a recognised political party or independent group at an election applies to any candidate nominated by such candidate of a recognised political party or independent group or to his agent or agents, for the gift or loan of any money or valuable consideration or for the promise of the gift or loan of any money or valuable Consideration any office, place or employment for the promise of any office, place or employment;

[S 82D(h) am by s 63 of Act 22 of 2012.]

(i) every person who directly or indirectly, by himself or by any person on his behalf, in order to induce any other person to agree to be nominated as a candidate at an election under this Ordinance or to refrain from becoming a candidate or to withdraw if he has become a candidate gives or procures any office, place or employment or agrees to give or procure or offers or promises to procure or to endeavor to procure an office, place or employment to or for such other person, or gives or lends or agrees to give or lend, or offers or promises to procure or to endeavor to procure any money or valuable consideration to or for any person or to or for such other person, or to or for any person on behalf of such other person.

[S 82D ins by s 6 of Act 1 of 2002.]

82E. Punishment and incapacities for corrupt practice.

(1) Every person who—

(a) commits the offence of personation or practice aids, abets, counsels or procures the commission of the offence of personation, or

(b) Commits the offence of treating, undue influence or bribery, or

(c) makes or publishes, before or during an election under this Ordinance, for the Purpose of affecting the result of that election any lake statement of fact in relation to the personal character or conduct of any candidate, or

(d) makes or publishes, before or during an election under this ordinance, for the purpose of affecting the result of that election, any false statement of the withdrawal of any candidate at such election,

shall be guilty of a corrupt practice, and shall on conviction by a Magistrate be liable, in the case refined to in paragraph (a) of this subsection, to noxious imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, and, in any other case, to a line not exceeding five hundred rupees or to imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(2) Every person who is convicted of a corrupt practice shall, on conviction, become incapable for a period of seven years from the date of his conviction, of being registered as an elector or of voting at any election under this Ordinance or of being elected as a member of a local authority, and if at that date he has been elected as a member of a local authority his election shall be vacated from the date of such conviction.

(3) A prosecution for a corrupt practice shall not be instituted without the sanction of the Attorney-General.

[S 82E ins by s 6 of Act 1 of 2002.]

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

(1) Where a corrupt practice is committed in connection with an election under this Ordinance by any candidate who was not elected as a member at the election or with his knowledge or consent or by any of his agents, such candidate shall on conviction by a Magistrate be liable, in the case of the offence of personation, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve candidate months, and, in any other case, to a fine not an election, exceeding five hundred rupees or to imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment:

Provided, however, that such candidate shall not be convicted of such corrupt practice under this section consisting of the offence of treating or undue influence committed by any of his agents if he proves to the Magistrate—

(a) that no corrupt or illegal practice was committed at the election by such candidate and any such offence was committed contrary, to the orders and without the sanction or connivance of such candidate, and

(b) that such candidate took all reasonable means for preventing the commission of corrupt and illegal practice at the election, and

(c) that any such offence was of a prevail unimportant and limited character, and

(d) that in all other respects the election was free from any corrupt or illegal practice on the part of such candidate and his agents.

(2) Every person who is convicted of a corrupt practice under this section shall, on conviction become incapable for a period of seven years from the date of his conviction of being registered as an elector or of voting at an election under this Ordinance, or of being elected as a member of a local authority and if at that dale he has been so elected, his election shall be vacated from the date of such conviction.

(3) A prosecution for a corrupt practice under this section shall not be instituted against any candidate at an election under this Ordinance who was not elected as a member at such election except with the sanction of the Attorney General.

(4) Nothing in the preceding provisions of this section shall be deemed or construed to preclude or prevent a candidate who was not elected as a member at an election under this Ordinance from being prosecuted for a corrupt practice in connection with such election under section 82E.

[S 82F ins by s 6 of Act 1 of 2002.]

ILLEGAL PRACTICES

82G. Certain expenditure to be illegal practice.

(1) No payment, or contract for payment shall, at an election under this Ordinance, be made—

(a) on account of the conveyance of electors to or from the poll, whether for the hiring of vehicles or animals of transport of any kind whatsoever, or for railway fares, or otherwise; or

(b) to or with an elector on account of the use of any house, land, building, or premises for the exhibition of any address, bill or notice, or on account of the exhibition of any address, bill, or notice.

(2) Subject to such exception as may be allowed in pursuance of this Ordinance, if any payment or contract for payment is knowingly made in contravention of this section either before, during, or after an election, the person making such payment or contract shall be guilty of an illegal practice, and any person receiving such payment or being a party to any such contract, knowing the same to be in contravention of this section, shall also be guilty of an illegal practice.

(3) Subject to any such express exceptions as are or may be made by or under this Ordinance, a person shall not let, lend, employ, a person shall not let, lend, employ, hire, borrow or use, or aid or abet any other person to let, lend, employ, hire. borrow or use, any vehicle vessel or animal, in any electoral area during the period commencing one hour before the time of the opening of the poll at an election in that area, and ending one hour after the lime of the closure of such poll—

(a) for the purpose of the conveyance of voters to or from the poll; or

(b) for any other purpose, other than—

(i) any legitimate business; or

(ii) any official business, that is to say, the performance of any duty or the discharge of any function accruing from or connected with or incidental to any office, service or employment, held or undertaken or carried on by him.

Any person acting in contravention of this subsection shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(4) Notwithstanding anything in the preceding provisions of this section—

(a) where it is the ordinary business of an elector as an advertising agent to exhibit for payment bills and advertisements, a payment to or contract with such elector, if made in the ordinary course of business, shall not be deemed to be an illegal practice within the meaning of this section;

(b) where electors are unable at an election to reach their polling stations from their placed of residence without crossing the sea or a branch or arm thereof or a river, means may be provided for conveying such electors by sea to their polling stations, or to enable them to cross the river in order to reach their polling stations:

(c) the conveyance of a person at his own expense to or from the poll at an election in, or the use by any person at his own expense for the purpose of that conveyance of himself to or from the poll of, any public transport service shall be deemed not to be an illegal practice within the meaning of this section;

(d) where the returning officer of any electoral area is satisfied upon written application in that behalf made to him by any person, or on behalf of such person by any other person not being a candidate, so as to reach such officer seven days before the day on which a poll is to be taken at an election in that area, that such person is unable, by reason of any physical disability to convey himself to and from the poll in foot or in any public transport service referred to in paragraph (c) of this subsection, the returning officer may give such person written authority to use any vehicle, vessel or animal for the purpose of conveying himself to and from the poll, and accordingly the use of a vehicle, vessel or animal for the purpose of such conveyance by such person shall be deemed not to be an illegal practice within the meaning of this section.

(5) Where at any poll taken in any electoral area, any police officer, either of his own motion or after an investigation which he is hereby required to carry out on the complaint of any person, is satisfied that any vehicle, vessel or animal is being used in contravention of the provisions of subsection (1) or subsection (3), that officer shall stop and seize such vehicle, vessel or animal, and lake it to a police station and detain it until the conclusion of the poll.

(6) A Magistrate may, on the conviction of any person for the commission of an illegal practice within the meaning of this section, make order declaring that any vehicle, vessel or animal used in or in connection with the commission of such practice shall be forfeited to the Republic.

[S 82G ins by s 6 of Act 1 of 2002.]

82H. False reports newspaper electronic media.

(1) Where there is published in any newspaper any false statement concerning, or relating to—

(a) the utterances or activities at an election under this Ordinance of any candidate, or any recognised political party or independent group which is contesting such election; or

(b) the conduct or management of such election by such candidate, or any such recognised political party, or independent group,

and such statement is capable of influencing the result of such election, then, every person who at the time of such publication or broadcast was the Proprietor, the Manager, the Editor, the Publisher or other similar officer of that newspaper publishing such statement or the Corporation or licensed radio or television station broadcasting such false statement or who was purporting to act in such capacity, shall each be guilty of an illegal practice unless such person proves that such publication or broadcast was made without his consent or connivance, and that he exercised all such diligence to prevent such publication or broadcast as he ought to have exercised, having regard to the nature of his function in such capacity and in all the circumstances.

(2) In this section, the term “newspaper” includes any journal, magazine, pamphlet or other publication.

[S 82H ins by s 6 of Act 1 of 2002.]

82J. Certain employment to be illegal.

(1) No person shall, for the purpose of promoting an election under this Ordinance, be engaged or employed for payment or promise of payment for any purpose or in any capacity whatsoever, except for the purpose or in the capacities following—

(a) a reasonable number of polling agents for each polling station having regard to the need to revoke the appointment of any polling agent for that polling station during the poll; and not more than the number of counting agents referred to in section 60 for each counting center;

(b) a reasonable number of clerks and messengers having regard to the extent of the electoral area and the number of electors on the register of electors for such area.

(2) Subject to such exception as may be allowed in pursuance of this Ordinance, if any person is engaged or employed in contravention of this section, either before, during, or after an election, the person engaging or employing him shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

[S 82J ins by s 6 of Act 1 of 2002.]

82K. Printing of election publications.

A candidate or his agent who prints, publishes, distributes or posts up or causes to be printed, published, distributed or posted up any advertisement, handbill, placard or poster which refers to an election under this Ordinance and which does not bear upon its face the names and addresses of its printer and publisher shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

[S 82K ins by s 6 of Act 1 of 2002.]

82L. Punishment on conviction for illegal practices.

(1) Every person who commits an illegal practice shall on conviction by a Magistrate be liable to a fine not exceeding three hundred rupees and shall on conviction become incapable for a period of three years from the date of his conviction of being registered as an elector or of voting at an election under this Act or being elected as a member of a local authority, and if at that date he has been elected as a member of a local authority his election shall be vacated from the date of such conviction

(2) A prosecution for an illegal practice shall not be instituted without the sanction of the Attorney General

[S 82L ins by s 6 of Act 1 of 2002.]

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

(1) Where an illegal practice is committed in connection with an election under this Ordinance by any candidate who was not elected as a member at the election or with his knowledge or consent or by any of his agents. Such candidate shall on conviction by a Magistrate be liable to a fine not exceeding three hundred rupees:

Provided, however, that such candidate shall not be convicted of such illegal practice under this section committed by any of his agents if he proves to the satisfaction of the Magistrate—

(a) that no corrupt or illegal practice was committed at the election by such candidate and the illegal practice which is the subject mallet of the prosecution was committed contrary to the orders and without the sanction or connivance of such candidate and

(b) that such candidate took all reasonable means for preventing the commission of corrupt and illegal practices at the election, and

(c) that the offence or offences constituting such illegal practice was or were of a trivial, unimportant and limited nature; and

(d) that in all other respects the election was free from any corrupt or illegal practice on the part of such candidate and his agents.

(2) Every person who is convicted of an illegal practice under this section, shall, by conviction, become incapable for a period of three years from the dale of his conviction of being registered as an elector or of voting at an election under this Ordinance or of being elected as a member of a local authority, and if at that date he has been elected as a member of a local authority, his election shall be vacated from the date of such conviction.

(3) A prosecution for an illegal practice under this section shall not be instituted against any candidate at an election under this Ordinance who was not elected as a member at such election except with the sanction of the Attorney-General.

(4) Nothing in the preceding provisions of this section shall be deemed or construed to preclude or prevent a candidate who was not elected as a member at an election under this Ordinance from being prosecuted for an illegal practice in connection with such election under section 82I.

[S 82M ins by s 6 of Act 1 of 2002.]

82N. Additional penalty for certain offences.

Any person who is convicted of an offence specified in sections 77, 78, 81 A, 81B, 82, 82A, 82B, 82C, 82D, 82G, 82H, 82J and 82K shall, in addition to any other penalty prescribed for such offence, he disqualified for a period of five years from the date of such conviction from being elected to, or from sitting or voting as a member of any local authority.

[S 82N ins by s 6 of Act 1 of 2002.]

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.


Recent Updates

SRI LANKA SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ACT, NO. 19 OF 2017


MUNICIPAL COUNCILS (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2017


URBAN COUNCILS (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2017


REGULATION OF INSURANCE INDUSTRY(AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 23 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


SRI LANKA SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ACT, NO. 19 OF 2017


MUNICIPAL COUNCILS (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2017


URBAN COUNCILS (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2017


REGULATION OF INSURANCE INDUSTRY(AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 23 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


SRI LANKA SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ACT, NO. 19 OF 2017


MUNICIPAL COUNCILS (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2017


URBAN COUNCILS (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2017


REGULATION OF INSURANCE INDUSTRY(AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 23 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


SRI LANKA SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ACT, NO. 19 OF 2017


MUNICIPAL COUNCILS (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2017


URBAN COUNCILS (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2017


REGULATION OF INSURANCE INDUSTRY(AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 23 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


SRI LANKA SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ACT, NO. 19 OF 2017


MUNICIPAL COUNCILS (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2017


URBAN COUNCILS (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2017


REGULATION OF INSURANCE INDUSTRY(AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 23 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


SRI LANKA SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ACT, NO. 19 OF 2017


MUNICIPAL COUNCILS (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2017


URBAN COUNCILS (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2017


REGULATION OF INSURANCE INDUSTRY(AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 23 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


SRI LANKA SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ACT, NO. 19 OF 2017


MUNICIPAL COUNCILS (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2017


URBAN COUNCILS (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2017


REGULATION OF INSURANCE INDUSTRY(AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 23 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


SRI LANKA SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ACT, NO. 19 OF 2017


MUNICIPAL COUNCILS (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2017


URBAN COUNCILS (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2017


REGULATION OF INSURANCE INDUSTRY(AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 23 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015