All-party meeting calls for postponement of by-elections

All-party meeting calls for postponement of by-elections

Thiruvananthapuram: (news.kvartha.com 11.09.2020) The decision to request the Central Election Commission to postpone the Kuttanad and Chavara assembly by-elections was taken today at an all-party meeting chaired by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The unanimous decision to postpone elections was taken in light of the prevailing pandemic said Chief Minister at the press conference. Decision was also taken to request the state election commission to temporarily postpone the local self government elections.

The term of the 14th Kerala Legislative Assembly ends in May 2021 with general elections scheduled for April as it has been in previous years. Therefore, the Model Code of Conduct is likely to come into force by March, 2021.

All-party meeting calls for postponement of by-elections, Thiruvananthapuram, News, Health, Kerala.

If by-elections in Kuttanad and Chavada are held in November, this will only leave three months in office for elected member (December - February) which is negligible compared to election expenses.Due to the spread of COVID-19, all government machinery is bent towards the pandemic-relief effort. Kuttanad and Chavara by-elections need not be held now and elections can be held in these constituencies with the forthcoming general elections in the next six months.

Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 states that a vacancy must be filled within six months. There has been a six-month vacancy in the Kuttanad constituency since December 20, 2019 due to the death of Thomas Chandy. There has been a vacancy in the Chavara constituency since March 8, 2020.

Elections to local bodies are imminent. The new governing bodies of the panchayats, municipalities and corporations are expected to take office in November 2020 at the end of their five-year term. That is a constitutional obligation.

Due to the spread of COVID-19, all government machinery is bent towards the pandemic-relief effort. Cases have spiked to 3349 people testing positive yesterday. Elections may impose an unnecessary financial burden. Beyond that, it is irrelevant to the essence of popular representation. Considering all this, a consensus to postpone was reached at the all-party meeting.

Keywords: All-party meeting calls for postponement of by-elections, Thiruvananthapuram, News, Health, Kerala.
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