Election monitoring body the People’s Action For Free and Fair Elections has informed the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Law Reforms, that Sri Lanka should have a mixed electoral system that includes the First-Past-the-Post system and Proportional Representation.
PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi yesterday proposed to increase the number of electoral districts from 22 to 40, taking into account geographical factors, population and other diversities.
The meeting was held yesterday Chaired by Leader of the House Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. Explaining the need for an advance voting system, PAFFREL stated it is essential that all eligible voters be given the right to vote.
PAFFREL also addressed limitations of candidate expenses, holding the Presidential and General Election on the same day, implementing an election calendar, identifying and updating loopholes in the electoral process and existing electoral law, preventing misappropriation of state power and state property, updating fines and election law, ensuring the right to information of all voters, the laws on advertising and ensuring adequate women representation.
The Executive Director also commented at length on the declaration of assets and liabilities of candidates as well as the selection of candidates from the national list, the protection of the independence of the Election Commission and the method of registration of political parties.
Former Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said it is impractical to hold the Presidential and General Elections on the same day adding that only the Parliamentary and Provincial Council Elections could be held on the same day.
Deshapriya noted that legislation should be enacted promptly to control election campaign expenditure.
Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, State Minister Jeevan Thondaman, Members of Parliament Anura Dissanayake, Kabir Hashim, Ranjith Madduma Bandara, M. A Sumanthiran, Mano Ganeshan, Madura Vithanage and Sagara Kariyawasam , officials from the Election Commission and the Attorney General’s Department were also present.