All parties must agree on electoral system

The delay in holding Provincial Council Elections is due to Parliament’s approval of only a part of the proposal to conduct the polls according to the new system, State Labour and Trade Union Relations Minister Ravindra Samaraweera said.

The election cannot be held according to the new system without approving the new delimitation report, he said.

Since Parliament has reached an agreement with a two-thirds majority to hold Provincial Council Elections under the new system, it cannot be held according to the old system either. The election can be held according to the old system if another proposal is made to Parliament and it is adopted, the State Minister said.

Therefore it is up to all parties represented in Parliament to reach an agreement as to which system should be adopted in conducting the Provincial Council Elections, he said.

The State Minister who described the SLPP (Pohottuwa) as a party of the Rajapaksa clan rather than the people, said today, there was a question as to which member of the Rajapaksa family should be fielded as the Presidential candidate. The UNP on the other hand had no such problem and it would field the proper candidate at the proper moment.

The State Minister was speaking at the opening of the volleyball court at the Sri Lanka Board of Investment complex in Pallekelle on Saturday.

He said former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had announced his intention to contest the Presidential Election, while former speaker Chamal Rajapaksa too has expressed an interest to do so. There were also reports of Shiranthi Rajapaksa as a probable candidate. Ultimately, one of them would be the Presidential candidate.

The State Minister said although the UNP supported a common candidate at the previous two Presidential Elections, it would field its own candidate at the forthcoming Presidential Election and the name would be divulged in due course.

He said people endorsed the national government concept at the 2015 General Elections. Since no party would gain an outright majority at a future election, the next government would certainly be a coalition of several parties akin to the national government concept.

Referring to State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake’s claim about Parliamentarians using narcotic drugs, State Minister Samaraweera said what Ramanayake should do was to make a formal complaint to his party leader, the Speaker, or the Police without making wild accusation at various places. A large number of Parliamentarians had faced inconvenience due to his statement.

Although Ramanayake was a veteran cinema artiste, he did not have much experience in politics. He should realise that politics was very different from acting, he said.

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