More seats for LG bodies | Sunday Observer

More seats for LG bodies

The independent election observers say nearly 360 seats will be added to the already overflowing local government bodies as ‘overhang seats’ according to the results of the February 10 election.

Executive Director of Polls Observer PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi said Colombo has the highest number of overhang seats with nine, while the rest are distributed all over the country.

Under the new LG electoral system the number of Local Government members to be appointed nearly doubled from 4486 to 8356. The number of councils were also increased from 336 to 341.

The huge increase in councilors had been a major concern for tax payers and the subject of heated debate, that at one point the president even stating that it needed to be reviewed.

“If a certain party wins more wards at the election than the number of ‘seats’ allocated to them by their vote-count, these parties stand to gain additional seats, which is called an overhang. This overhang is resulted in by the First Past the Post (FPTP) system of election where parties can win certain wards by even a single vote,” Hettiarachchi said.

The number of seats allocated to each party is calculated by dividing the valid number of votes by the number of members in a council and tallying it with the votes the party has won.

The Election Commission said they are yet to finalise the number of overhang seats, the number of female candidates elected and the number of councils without majority power to any single party (hung councils).