NO ELECTORAL REFORMS (99 May 19)
The minister for constitutional affairs Dr. G. L. Peiris and Mr. Tyronne Fernando of the UNP have expressed the view that there would be no electoral reforms before the next general elections, at a panel discussion organised by the Foreign Correspondents' Association on last Monday in Kolomba. This means that the country will go to the next general election with the preferential system or the "manape" and the executive presidency. It also follows that there will be a presidential election either this year or early next year.
The PA government came into power with a promise to abolish the executive presidency within a year. The UNP after it was defeated said that they would vote with the government if a bill were introduced to abolish the executive presidency. However both parties now claim that there will not be any electoral reforms before the parliament is dissolved.
The PA and the UNP together command more than two thirds of the vote in the parliament and they could have easily abolished the presidency and the preferential system if they were interested in doing so. But it is very clear that neither the PA nor the UNP want any change in the present system. It would be interesting to see what these two parties have to tell the public on this matter at the next election. Would they again give a pledge to abolish the executive presidency!