PC polls under old system? | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

PC polls under old system?

Party leaders on Friday decided to hold the Provincial Council election under the old electoral system to avoid a repetition of issues that cropped up following the local government polls held early this year under the new Act.

The tentative decision was made at an informal meeting of party leaders chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Parliament complex yesterday.

Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) Leader Mano Ganesan said the meeting was attended by almost all leaders of the political parties represented in the House. “We discussed two things at the meeting, first to hold the election under the old system and second, to hold the election for all provincial councils on a single day.”

The TPA Leader said party leaders who were present agreed to the proposals. “But a final decision on the election will be taken on Tuesday,” he said. The PM is expected to hold an official meeting in Parliament on Tuesday.

A senior official of the Election Commission said, if the legislators can agree on this proposal in Parliament and an amendment is passed, the elections could be held accordingly.

“The decision is in the hands of the Parliamentarians,” he said.

The House passed the new Provincial Council Elections Act in September last year replacing the old preferential system. The new law which is a 50/50 mix of the First Past the Post (FPP) system and the Proportional Representation (PR) system, abolished the highly criticised preferential voting system, ending the violent culture of electioneering in the country.

However, JVP MP Vijitha Herath, told the Sunday Observer, that they oppose the decision to revert back to the old system and added that his party was neither consulted nor invited to a meeting to discuss the PC election. “The new system was a citizen’s victory and if there are shortcomings, we need to address them separately. Going back to the old system is not the answer.”

The MP said his party preferred a 60/40 ratio between the FPP and PR and the current 50/50 was in deed a concern, but these can be sorted through discussion.