Kerala

Administrative panels to be in charge of local bodies after Nov. 11

With the local body polls to be delayed on account of COVID-19, local bodies in the State where elections are scheduled will be governed by administrative committees after November 11.

Until fresh elections are held, the local bodies will be governed by administrative committees consisting of three government officers or a special officer. The State government should appoint the committees/special officers through a gazette notification, State Election Commissioner V. Bhaskaran said. To enable this, the commission has informed the government that the elections will be held only after November 11.

The commission had issued formal orders on Wednesday stating that the elections to the municipal corporations, municipalities, and panchayats would be completed before December 31. The appointment of dates for filing nominations and other procedures had been deferred to a date after November 11. (The term of the present elected councils, except Mattannur municipality, expires on November 11).

Wherever a new elected council has not yet been constituted when the term of the old one has ended, the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act and the Kerala Municipality Act require the government to appoint “a special officer or an administrative committee consisting of not less than three officers of the government” for interim governance until the elections are held.

Appointed through a gazette notification, the committees/special officers cannot hold office for more than six months.

The arrangements for the elections are in full swing in the State, the commission noted. However, it was decided to defer the appointment of dates for nominations and related procedures given “the extraordinary circumstances that exist in the State due to the COVID-19 pandemic”, it noted.

At an all-party meet convened by the commission in September, political parties aligned with the Left Democratic Front and the United Democratic Front were not opposed to a temporary delay in holding the elections considering the spread of COVID-19.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 4:31:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/administrative-panels-to-be-in-charge-of-local-bodies-after-nov-11/article32985380.ece

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