Commenting on the Delimitation Committee Report relating to the much-delayed Local Government elections, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake yesterday said that the reasons for the report not being signed unanimously by all members of the five-member committee must be examined.
“Anyone who reads the report of the Delimitation Committee appointed by the previous Government could see that that the demarcations therein were unclear. So there was a need to analyse those demarcations and come up with a more thorough report. A committee was appointed for this purpose that has now issued a report after deliberating over the matter at length. However, two members of the committee have not signed this report. This needs to be investigated,” Dissanayake said, responding to questions raised by journalists yesterday.
Dissanayake also criticised the proposed election reforms, charging that it was done on the whim of former Government bigwig Basil Rajapaksa.
“Then Local Government Minister Athaulla was in the dark about this proposed electoral system. He didn’t answer a single question I raised in Parliament in this regard. This system could pave the way for a two-party system, effectively eliminating other smaller political parties in the process,” he said.
The JVP leader recalled that the Chairman of the Elections Commission had highlighted the need for major amendments to the proposed reforms, adding that his party was ready to present its proposals in this regard.
“This distorted electoral system is not going to adequately or justly represent the will of the people. In any case, there is an ongoing discourse on the need for electoral reforms along with the proposed new Constitution. There is about a 90% agreement on the need for a new system. This system must be used for parliamentary, provincial council and local government elections. So we proposed in Parliament that the traditional proportional representation system be used only for the upcoming local government elections. This can be done through an Act. This way, local government ele ctions can be held in March. But under the present distorted system, there is no telling when the election will take place,” he said.