By Saman Indrajith
The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna yesterday said that the country’s electoral system should be changed to introduce a mixed electoral system comprising the features of both the first-past-the-post system and the proportional representation system.
Presenting the MEP’s proposals to the Select Committee of Parliament to Identify Appropriate Reforms of the Election Laws and the Electoral System and to Recommend Necessary Amendments, MEP Deputy Secretary State Minister Sisira Jayakody said that the existing number of MPs in the House should be maintained. So there would be 225 MPs of which 140 to be elected under the first-past-the-post system and 70 from the district wise proportional system, while 15 seats should be allocated for the National List MPs.
The MEP Deputy Secretary said that the new reforms to the electoral system should ensure clear representation of the constituencies.
MEP MP Yadamini Gunawardena said that the reforms should ensure the people’s ability to cast their votes without influence of the political administration and it should not also be permitted to decide the dates of elections.
EPDP representatives at the PSC pointed out the need for ensuring the rights of all communities in a new electoral system. They said that 65 percent of MPs should be elected from the first-past-the-post system, while the remaining 35 percent should be elected under the proportional representation.
Desha Vimukthi Janatha Party also submitted their proposals at the PSC meeting held at the parliamentary complex.
The meeting was held with Leader of the House and Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena presiding. Minister Gunawardena is also the Leader of the MEP. It was attended by Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, Douglas Devananda, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Ali Sabry and MPs Mano Ganesan, Madhura Withanage and Sagara Kariyawasam.
Chairman of the Expert Committee appointed for the purpose of analysing proposals for reforming the election structure and election laws in the country, Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura Prof. Sudantha Liyanage was also present. Dr. Anura Karunathilake, Suren Fernando, Prof. P. Balasundarampillai and Gautham Balachandran were the other members appointed to the Committee.
The next meeting of the PSC would be held today (7), Deputy Secretary General of Parliament and Chief of Staff Kushani Rohanadheera said.