Home / Opinion and Issues/ Moragoda proposes non-binding referendum on key Constitutional questions

Moragoda proposes non-binding referendum on key Constitutional questions

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 27 November 2019 00:00

Milinda Moragoda


Founder of the Pathfinder Foundation and former Cabinet Minister Milinda Moragoda advocates that the Government holds a non-binding referendum in conjunction with the General Election. Provision for this is available under Article 86 of the Constitution. He proposes that one or more of the four issues listed below could be selected after careful consideration when drafting the questions for the referendum.

Do citizens: 

 1. Prefer a full-fledged Presidential system or a Westminster-style parliamentary system?

 2. Wish to repeal the Provincial Council system and replace it with empowered Local Councils?

 3. Should the present Proportional Representation system for parliamentary elections be replaced with a first-past-the-post system?                          

 4. Support the establishment of a Senate as part of a bicameral system in order to address national issues related to religious, ethnic and regional diversity?

Although it could make the voting process more cumbersome, holding a referendum on one or more of these above-mentioned issues together with the election would be more economical and efficient than holding it separately. At a global level in many countries, referendums on both national and local issues are conducted as a matter of course in conjunction with elections.

Importantly, such a referendum would give the citizens of Sri Lanka an opportunity to participate in the policy-making process and make apparent the will of the people. Furthermore, it would create a moral impetus for the new Parliament and the President to take the views of the electorate into account in the context of the Constitutional reform process.

Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Stock market, Mark Mobius and State entities

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

The expert of emerging capital markets, Mark Mobius was in Sri Lanka recently. A key recommendation he made for the development of the local capital market was to list certain State entities in the Colombo stock market. The local stock brokerages se

Autocatalytic descent from plural democracy to supremacist authoritarianism

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

In a few days, Sri Lanka will celebrate its 72nd year of independence from colonialism. But behind the pomp and pageant of that celebration is a sad reality of an autocatalytic process – a small initial event triggering a chain reaction that evolve

Trump destroying brand USA: Implications for Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

There is an old adage that ‘politics and tourism’ has a positive correlation. Many have tried to disprove this aspect but the relationship is coming out very strongly, the latest case study to the world being in the United States.

Freedom! Freedom! Where art thou?

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Freedom: who could object? Yet this word is now used to justify a thousand forms of exploitation. In the name of freedom – the freedom of the powerful to exploit the weak, the rich to exploit the poor. The definition of freedom is, the condition of

Columnists More