by Zacki Jabbar
The National Executive Committee which met yesterday in Colombo had discussed proposals on electoral reforms submitted by both President Maithripala Sirisena and Pivithuru Hetak Convenor Rathana Thera.
Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne addressing a news conference said that in terms of the Presidents proposal the number of seats in the national legislature would increase from the current 225 to 255.
Jaffna and Kandy Districts comprised 11 and 13 electorates , but were represented by only seven and 12 Members of Parliament respectively. Accordingly each of the electorates would be represented by an MP.In addition there would be MPs representing electorates on the basis of multi ethnicity as was the practice prior to 1977. Sixty Six would be elected based on Limited Proportional Representation and 24 nominated on the National List, which would total 255,he noted.
Senaratne said that according to Rathana Thera’s proposal there would be no PR but people would be called upon to vote for the party. The MPs would be elected based on the percentage of votes polled per electorate, rather total votes, which would create an even playing field regardless of the population in the various electorates.
Both proposals had their merits.The NEC having discussed them further would present it to the public first. Once their views had been obtained it would be presented for parliamentary approval , he observed adding that the process should not take much time since electoral reforms had been debated for nearly thirty years and the solutions were clear in everyone’s minds.
The Minister said that an Independent Delimitation Commission which the government intended establishing would consider the peoples views in redrawing the electoral boundaries in a practical and workable manner.