The main political parties, the UPFA, UNP and the JVP will commence their election campaigns today.
Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake yesterday announced that the Local Government election would be held on March 17 to elect 3,931 members for 301 Local Government bodies.
Over 20,000 candidates will vie for 301 slots in four Municipal Councils, 39 Urban Councils and 258 Pradeshiya Sabahas where over 12 million voters will be eligible to cast their ballot.
Acceptance of nominations from recognized political parties ended at noon yesterday without any major incident while acceptance of deposits from the independent groups was conducted at noon Wednesday.
A number of nomination lists from many recognized political parties and independent groups were rejected by the Returning Officers and Assistant Elections Commissioners due to various discrepancies in the nomination lists.
Several nomination lists of UPFA and UNP were rejected as the names of the candidates were not attested by a Justice of the Peace or Commissioner of Oaths.
In the Colombo District, nomination list submitted by the UNP for Homagama PS was rejected while the JHU list for the Maharagama PS was also not accepted due to errors in the nomination papers.
UNP nomination lists for Baddegama PS, Eravur UC and Warakapola PS were rejected while UPFA nomination lists for 16 Local Government bodies in the Jaffna District, Akmeemana, Siyabalanduwa, Moneragala and Polgahawela, Yatinuwara, Wigamuwa and Pallepola PSs failed to pass muster.
The nomination lists by the UNP and the UPFA for the Embilipitiya PS were rejected by the District Returning Officer.
The TNA nomination lists for Poonekery and Pachchiyapalli PSs in the Kilinochchi District also failed to go through. The JVP nomination list for Wilgamuwa and Nattandiya PSs and the SLMC list for Ukuwela PS also failed to receive endorsement. In the Ratnapura District the UNP list for Weligepola PS had been rejected. The nomination lists submitted by the SLMC for Akurana PS in the Kandy District also rejected.
Meanwhile, an official of the Election Secretariat said public servants cannot avoid election duty unless he or she has a fair reason.
Commenting on the public employees' lack of interest to apply for postal vote the official said the public servants could not cite the need to vote as a reason to avoid election duty.
The deadline for the public servants to apply for postal votes was yesterday.
Election duty is considered an essential service and the public servants are deployed to carry out the duties regardless of their consent.