ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday September 16, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 16

PSC ready with local council election amendments

By Shelani Perera

The Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms is scheduled to finalise discussions on the draft laws relating to local council elections by Friday prior to presenting it to parliament. The draft law was formulated by the Legal Draftsman’s department.

The draft law based on a mixed system consented to by all political parties will include the first-past-the-post and proportional representation. The Elections Commissioner submitted proposals on changing the election laws to accommodate necessary changes in conducting the Local Council Elections based on the mixed system.

Select Committee Chairman Dinesh Gunawardene told The Sunday Times that with all political parties having agreed to a mixed system it’s a matter of going through the draft law with the election laws mainly focussing on the conduct of elections.

Mr. Gunawardena said the election law includes submissions forwarded by the EC relating to the registration of political parties, free and fair elections, electoral register, on the conduct of the media, the introduction of an electronic voting system on a priority basis as it will reduce the heavy expenditure incurred for manpower during elections, to streamline vote counting and the timely release of elections results.

The Parliament Select Committee has proposed that out of the 225 seats in parliament 150 to be reserved for elected members from 150 polling divisions to be determined by the FPF system, 72 district level members elected from the District PR system and three on a national PR system allocated for minor parties. However the UNP insists that 125 seats be filled by elected members on the FPF and 100 members elected on the PR system.

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