MEP Opposed to Increasing Parliamentary Seats

Published : 9:28 am  May 18, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 

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The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP), led by MP Dinesh Gunawardane, has submitted its proposals for electoral reforms opposing the move to increase the present number of 225 parliamentarians, party officials said yesterday.  

In the concept paper submitted to the Cabinet by President Maitripala Sirisena, it has been proposed to increase the number to 255.
However, Mr. Gunawardane said his party sent its proposals to the President to be considered in the evolution of the final set of electoral reforms to be incorporated as the 20th Amendment to the Constitution.

He said his party wanted the government to revise the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms that recommended 140 MPs from the First Past the Post System, 40 from the District Proportional Representation System and 15 from the National List.

Commenting on the proposal to increase the number of MPs, he said such a necessity would not arise due to the establishment of Provincial Councils in terms of 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1987.

“The 13th Amendment brought about Provincial Councils to participate in governance in between Parliament and the local authorities. Some parliamentary powers have been transferred to these Provincial Councils now”

“The 13th Amendment brought about Provincial Councils to participate in governance in between Parliament and the local authorities.  Some parliamentary powers have been transferred to these Provincial Councils now. There are as many as 400 Provincial Councillors holding powers that were initially with parliamentarians. Now that there is no need to increase the number of parliamentarians as a result, “he said.

Besides, the MEP has asked for dropping the cut-off point presently used for the election of MPs. Parties that polled less than five per cent of votes are not entitled to parliamentary seats under the present system.

“Also, he said the system of giving bonus seats for the parties polling the highest number of votes should be done away with. MEP has called for the abolition of  preferential voting system”

“We want to do away with this cut-off point,” he said.   Also, he said the system of giving bonus seats for the parties polling the highest number of votes should be done away with. MEP has called for the abolition of  preferential voting system.

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