Colombo, August 26 (newsin.asia): The Sri Lankan parliament has passed a new local bodies’ election law under which women will get 25% reservation in seats.
Despite having universal adult franchise for 86 years, women constitute only 1.9% of the members in the local bodies; 4% in the Provincial Councils and only 5.7% in parliament. Hence the need for reservation of 25% for women, Local Government Minister Faizer Musthapha explained.
However, he appealed to political parties not to use the 25% quota allocated for women to field members’ relations as candidates.
“I ask from all of the parties to not put their wife or daughter into the nominations list. While they may be capable, please give others who are capable and intelligent the opportunity,” he said.
“Intelligent, educated members of the local community and community leaders should be given a chance to run. That will bring in a new era.”
Musthapha said that he hoped political parties would consider including youths in the nominations list although the quota on 30% youth participation was not made compulsory in the Bill.
Mixed FPP and PR system
The new election law has also introduced a mixed system whereby, 60% of the seats will be filled as per the First Past the Post System (FPP) and 40% under the Proportional Representation (PR) system.
The preferential votes (Manape) system has been abolished as this has given rise to factionalism within parties with individuals of the same party scuttling each other’s chances.
Provincial and Parliamentary Elections to follow same system
Mustapha has said that the Government will pass necessary regulations to hold both Provincial Council and Parliamentary elections under the new system which will be first implemented in the Local Government Elections.
However, he said, the final decision to adopt the system will lie with Parliament.
Before 1978, Sri Lanka’s election system was based on the Westminster system. With the introduction of the Presidential form of government in 1978 ,the FPP system was abolished and the PR system was brought in to accommodate small parties and minority communities.
Much Postponed Locals Election By Year End
Minister Musthapha said that elections are likely to be held before the end of the year under the new law.
An advisory committee has been appointed to look into issues in creating electorates or constituencies. Bu the Minister assured that this will not cause any delay in holding the elections.