ACMC calls for stability amid post-poll upheaval 

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • ‘We want political stability, scrap Mixed Electoral System’ - Bathiudeen
  • ACMC, contesting in 15 districts, has strong showing
  • Increases Local Govt. seats by 266%

 Riding on its latest electoral victory at the recent Local Government polls, the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) has called for political stability within the Government while strongly denouncing the Mixed Electoral System (MES) used in the polls.

“We call for our two leaders to unite for a stable government,” said the Leader of the ACMC, Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen yesterday while addressing an ACMC press briefing in Colombo. 

“The Mixed Electoral System has been used for the first time at the recent local elections. ACMC believes that the MES has been introduced to favour the two major parties in Sri Lanka and to politically deprive minority and smaller political parties,” said Minister Bathiudeen. 

“We denounce changing Sri Lanka’s electoral systems in this way as per the whims and fancies of those in power so that it works only for them. The problems and effects of the new MES system is already evident with nearly half of them tied and hanging without a clear winner and unable to form their administrations. The latest news on this is that the March first week deadline to elect their rulers also has been postponed to late March 2018 and we believe there is now a likelihood that it may get pushed even further to April’s New Year season or later. Now imagine what will happen to the country when MES is introduced to Provincial and General Elections. Therefore we at the ACMC call for reverting back to the Preferential Electoral System immediately where an elected member can oversee and be responsible for not just his electorate but is free to work for a much larger area,” he added. 

When it was pointed out that despite his criticism of the MES, it was the new system which had helped his party increase its local government seats nearly fourfold and bring their previous low of 44 seats to a huge 166, Minister Bathiudeen agreed, but stressed: “Yes, but any change in our electoral system should be for the benefit and development of the people and the country and not for any political parties, including the ACMC.” 

Asked about the ACMC’s path forward with the Unity Government amid developing political instability, he said: “We support and call for a stable government. I thank all the voters of all ethnicities and religions who supported the ACMC’s victory.” 

The ACMC contested in 15 districts in the latest local polls and increased its winning local seats by a huge 277%. ACMC contested alone in some areas while in others it joined together with the UNP, and in many locations in the Eastern Province it contested with the United Peace Alliance led by Hassan Ali. 

The ACMC won 34 seats in Mannar and another 12 in Mullaitivu and formed three pradeshiya sabhas in Mannar-Museli PS, Mantai West PS and Mannar PS. 

According to Minister Bathiudeen, the ACMC is currently working to form five pradeshiya sabhas in the East after winning 64 seats in the province - 32 in Ampara, 18 in Trincomalee and 14 in Batticaloa. The ACMC won two seats in Kalutara, one in Jaffna, 20 in Vavuniya, 12 in Mullaitivu, 12 in Puttalam, eight in Kandy, five in Kurunegala, four in Anuradhapura, one in Gampaha, one in Kilinochchi and two in Colombo. This is also the first time the ACMC has contested in the Kurunegala, Kandy and Kalutara districts.

The total votes received by the ACMC in all 15 districts are still being calculated but it has polled a little over 180,000 in six identified districts so far.