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» » » New law to enable people displaced from North to vote

In the wake of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections likely to be held in September, the Cabinet approval was granted to enact legislation enabling those who were displaced from the North between May 1, 1983 and May 18, 2009 to vote at the election.

However, this opportunity will be provided only if they have not been registered as voters in other electoral districts. The Cabinet memorandum for this purpose was submitted by Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem. On this basis the Legal Draftsman will be instructed to amend the Registration of Electors Act No. 44 of 1980. A large number of people were displaced from their original place of residence during the conflict in the North and now live in other parts of the country.

The Cabinet memorandum pointed out that the present Act did not provide for their registration as voters in the electoral districts of their original place of residence in the North. This had resulted in the applications submitted by them during annual revisions of the electoral register being rejected by the Elections Department.

The Justice Ministry hopes to present the new legislation titled ‘Registration of Electors (Special Provision) Bill in Parliament soon. The bill, if enacted, will enable 15,000 people who are known to have been displaced between May 1, 1983 and May 18, 2009 to be registered as voters in the North.

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