Jathika Nidahas Peramuna (JNP) leader MP Wimal Weerawansa charged yesterday that the real issues confronting the masses were not discussed by any party during their election campaigns.
MP Weerawansa told a news conference that the opposition was campaigning on themes such as the abolition of the executive presidency, and the government on the war victory. No one is discussing the major issues affecting the masses. We talk about the war victory and the opposition talks about the executive presidency. It is high time now for all of us to debate how the country should be taken forward. We have to discuss how our education system can be modernized. This is the time to focus on measures to be taken to improve the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, he said.
He said that the JNP would submit its proposals in this respect to be included in the election manifesto of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mr. Weerawansa said that his party would also propose new ways to curb corruption by introducing new laws and strengthening the existing ones.
The JNP emphasised the need to introduce a new Parliamentary election system shortly after the conclusion of the Presidential election on January 26. Mr. Weerawansa pointed out that this should be a mix of the first-past-the-post and the present proportional representation system. Such a system will make way for a stable government. The existing way of conducting Parliamentary polls is very complicated. Politicians need a lot of money to contest under this system and get elected. So, they are automatically compelled to amass wealth upon election to office. They then have to recover the monies they spent by them on the election. This leads to corruption, he said adding that there should be provision to block crossovers from one party to another after the election.
Today, successive governments are forced to appoint too many ministers and deputy ministers because of this situation. Otherwise, they will switch sides leading to a collapse of the government.
After the Presidential election, it is advisable for the Government to make some changes. There are 128 MPs in the ruling coalition. The Government can win over the balance number required for a two-thirds majority to pass such laws in Parliament and introduce a new election system, he said.