Printing Dept refuses to hand over postal voting ballots without receiving payments

The Government Printer insists that the already-printed ballot papers of the postal voting in 2023 Local Government Election cannot be handed over to the Election Commission until the required payments are made.

According to Government Printer Gangani Kalpana Liyanage, the Printing Department has spent more than Rs. 200 million thus far to print ballot papers, despite receiving an initial payment of just Rs. 40 million.

Printing of ballot papers for 17 electoral districts is completed and they need to be proofread under the police security, Liyanage explained, noting that the Printing Department is yet to receive the remaining payments for the election-related work it has done so far.

In light of this matter, Liyanage said the Printing Department would not be able to hand over the postal voting ballot papers to the Election Commission on Monday (March 20) as planned.

Meanwhile, election chief Attorney-at-Law Nimal G. Punchihewa said the Local Government Election can be held on the scheduled date if the election body receives the ballot papers over the next few days.

The 2023 Local Government Election, which was initially planned to be held on March 09, was later rescheduled for April 25.

Meanwhile, as the term of office of 340 local government bodies expires at midnight tomorrow (March 19), the mayors and the Pradeshiya Sabha chairs of these institutions have been asked to return the official vehicles given to them without delay.

The allowances given to the members of these local government bodies would be paid only until March 19, the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs & Provincial Councils & Local Government mentioned.