Parliament rejects delimitation report

Published : 12:04 am  August 25, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 

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  • 86 MPs absent at time of voting

 

By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana  

The Parliament yesterday rejected the Provincial Delimitation Commission report with all those present voting against it while 86 MPs including the JVP MPs, who supported the report being absent at the time of voting.  

 

Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Faizer Musthapha voted against the report even though he was the one who presented it in the House and the one who moved the motion for the debate last morning.  
The report was taken up for debate amid heated arguments. Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake stressed the importance of approving it saying the Elections Commission could have called for the provincial council elections the following day if the report was approved.  


Joint opposition parliamentary group leader Dinsesh Gunawardene said it would be possible to hold the PC elections under the proportional representation system if the delimitation commission was rejected by the House. “The government has assured us that the PC elections will be held in January next year and we are urging it to do so,” he said.  

 

The report was taken up for debate amid heated arguments. Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake stressed the importance of approving it saying the Elections Commission could have called for the provincial council elections the following day if the report was approved


Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who addressed those gathered at the launch of the Construct 2018 exhibition at BMICH said the best option would be to hold the PC elections under the proportional representation system. He said rectifying the shortcomings of delimitation commission report was a time consuming exercise.   


House Leader Lakshman Kiriella said another amendment could be brought in to the Provincial Council Election Amendment Bill if the parties agree later while minority party members  including Ministers Mano Ganesan and Rauff Hakeem said they would oppose the report because it  violates the rights of minority communities.  


Minister Faizer Musthapha said the Speaker-appointed committee headed by the Prime Minister could make recommendations on the delimitation commission report within two months so that the president could gazette it. “It would be possible to hold the elections under the new mixed system in two months. We have to abolish the PR system if we are to create a progressive political culture. Besides, the delimitation report was prepared by an independent commission and not something prepared by the government,” he said.   

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