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A draft bill on campaign finance reforms jointly prepared by several election monitoring bodies is to be presented to Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government Faiszer Musthapha by the end of February next year.

Elections monitoring bodies, notably the primarily People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), have already come up with a third draft of a bill following consultations with mayors, deputy mayors and chairpersons of local government authorities.

Consultations with trade unions, youth groups, civil society organizations, those involved in the management of elections, the bar association and the administrative service are to take place and the draft that emerges following these consultations is to be given to the secretaries of political parties with a view to obtaining their opinions.

Thereafter a final draft would be prepared and sent to the Elections Commission and Secretariat for the purpose of placing the proposed bill within a legal framework. Issues with regard to practicalities in the implementation of certain campaign finance reforms have come to light in the course of the consultations conducted.

Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi said that during the process of consultations, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya too would be consulted along with representatives including leaders of the main political parties. The work on the draft would be completed by end February 2017.

“Although it is technically the Government that has to bring in such a Bill, the draft we present in this regard would mean that the Government would have only a little amending to do,” Hettiarachchi said.