Minor political parties have vehemently opposed the 20th Amendment to the Constitution which has been proposed to change the country’s electoral system. Representatives from Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Muslim Congress (SLMC) yesterday met Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and had expressed their concerns. They had said that if the legislation was approved, it will be unfair to the minor communities as well as the minor political parties.
JVP leader Anura Dissanayake and Politburo Member KD Lalkantha, TNA leader R. Sampanthan, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on behalf of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) and SLMC leader Minister Rauff Hakeem had representged the minor parties. UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim and Malik Samarawickrema had also represented the meeting with the Prime Minister.
Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers has approved the new electoral system proposed in the 20th Amendment that increased the number of parliamentary seats to 237 from the current 225.
Under the system approved by the cabinet, 145 Parliamentarians will be elected under the First-Past-the Post (FPP) system, 55 under the district Proportional Representation (PR) system and 37 from the National List. The proposed legislation has been gazetted and will be presented in parliament soon. It needs Supreme Court review and two-third majority in parliament to pass.
The Nation learnt that the Premier had assured the representatives to be with them in the issue. He had promised them that the UNP will also go against if it closes the doors for minor parties.