Present election system must go - PM
By Rasika Somarathna
Mar 22, 2010
The electoral system of the country under the preferential vote system should be changed as it has created unhealthy rivalry among both candidates and voters. It has also treated division and confusion, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka said yesterday.

For this purpose, he called upon voters to give a two thirds majority in Parliament for the UPFA at the General Election on April 8, to bring in constitutional amendments to change the electoral system and much needed changes in other spheres as well.

Speaking at an election rally in support of UPFA candidates in Trincomalee, the Premier opined that the present electoral system which defined a district as one electorate had even contributed to intra-party rivalry due to bitter and intense battles for Manape.

The Premier noted that the Constitution introduced by the then President J. R. Jayewardene had contributed to more conflicts and confusion creating divisions among the people. It also ensured that no party was able to form a stable Government, he added. The Prime Minister noted that a strong mandate for the UPFA would also help to speed up the development process. Such a mandate could also deliver a strong message to both local and international detractors who were trying to hamper the country’s forward march, the Premier added.

Commenting on the Government’s future plans in achieving equity in development, the Premier noted that a body similar to the Village Councils which existed before would be introduced called People’s Councils (Jana Sabha) in a bid to empower villagers.

The concept would entrust the village level leaders develop their own respective areas, he added. While promising a more practical approach in every sphere in the village development process the Premier noted that the decision-making when it came to issues would ascend from bottom to the top and not vice-versa.

He said that places like Trincomalee where development was retarded due to terrorist activity had seen unprecedented economic gains in recent times. He promised the people that further progress was at hand.

He noted that both development and harmony among all should go hand in hand and urged the people to return UPFA to govern the country with an overwhelming mandate on April 08 to realise the above expectations. The large public gathering was also addressed by all candidates contesting under the UPFA banner at the forthcoming elections.

Courtesy: Daily News