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Rohana Hettiarachchi

Elections monitoring bodies announced that they opposed any move to amend the law pertaining to the Local Government Election which would result in the reduction of the quota afforded for women’s representation in politics at the level of the local authorities and bodies.

Polls monitor, People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) pointed out that the draft of a bill to amend the relevant laws {the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Act and the Local Authorities (Special Provisions) Act in relation to increasing the ratio of those entering the Local Government bodies on the proportional representation basis to 40% and reducing the representation for those entering on the first-past-the-post basis to 60%, would create uncertainty about the 25% guaranteed by law for female representation.       Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi said that this would result in the percentage of female representation relegated to being between 10% and 25%.

Elsewhere, he called on all political parties and independent groups fielding candidates for forthcoming elections to reveal their selection and nomination criteria to the public.
Commenting about the Election Commission stating that there was a decrease in the number of voters who registered in the electoral register/registry for 2017 from the District of Colombo including the City of Colombo, urban and semi-urban areas, he further added that such could be due to multiple factors including disillusionment in relation to elections, the universal franchise/suffrage, politics and politicians.