The Chairman of Elections, Mahinda Deshapriya has issued a communiqué announcing the delay in issuing results of the local government election.
According to the letter, the counting of votes at the polling booths and divisions has been completed and have reached the Returning Officers through fax and telephone. However the release of the results has been delayed as the Returning Officers had to verify the results against the manually produced results.
The Commissioner said, despite the postal votes being included in the overall count of Local Government bodies, in several electorates the postal votes have not been added to the total count but the results have been forwarded separately. Therefore the Returning Officers have been vested with the responsibility of verifying the results once again.
He further added that until the reporting officers able to add all the results to the database, the local authority would not be able to release the entire results to the media. However, following the closures of the polling stations, the Commissioner of Elections told the media that the first result would be released by 9.00pm. Instead, the issue of the first result has been delayed in about 4 hours. Now the Chairman of Elections pointing out the reasons for the delay. It is clear that the Elections Commissioner did not have an appropriate strategy in place or had incorrect planning measures for the task.