Election will be held under new system, says SLFP

Thursday, 11 June 2015 00:27 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and MP Susil Premajayantha addressing yesterday’s press conference – Pic by Shehan Gunasekara

By Chamodi Gunawardana 

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) yesterday announced that though the Government has claimed it would hold the forthcoming general election under the prevailing system, it still believes that the next election will be held under a new electoral system.

SLFP Parliamentarians addressing a press conference made this statement while explaining that 225 seats in Parliament were not sufficient under the electoral reforms though Cabinet had approved this number. 

SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said: “Our party has still not changed its stance on the upcoming election. We still believe that the general election will be held under a new electoral system as we have time till next April. However, the SLFP has not taken a final decision about this and we are still having discussions.”

Meanwhile, SLFP Parliamentarian Susil Premajayantha told the media that limiting the number of seats in the new Parliament to 225 seats was a problem when there were about 150,000,000 voters in the country.

“The issue we have here is the minority parties and how to send their representatives to Parliament. However, no injustice should happen to the minority parties and a fair equation for everybody should be considered. Even the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has pointed out that what was approved by the Cabinet was not what it consented to,” he said.

He further explained that the SLFP wanted a system that would abolish the Proportional Representation (PR) system and appoint at least one parliamentarian from each party to each electorate. 

“So far there are 144 MPs representing Parliament from the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), 44 MPs from the United National Party (UNP), four from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and three from the JVP. When the new electoral system is introduced justice should be done to all of these parties. However, the final decision about this will be taken by the Delimitation Commission,” Premajayantha said. 

Speaking about the Constitutional Council (CC), he said that after the CC nominations of the members were passed in Parliament, those 10 members would establish the independent commissions, following which the work regarding the 19th Amendment would be completed. 

Commenting on giving nominations to contest elections to MPs against whom investigations are pending, Premajayantha pointed out that nominations would be given to MPs who had not been found guilty of committing any illegal and fraudulent activities. 

SLFP denies withdrawing no-confidence motion 

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) yesterday denied withdrawing the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. 

SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa yesterday said that contrary to Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera’s claims, the UPFA had not withdrawn the no-confidence motion against the Premier, nor had President Maithripala Sirisena given them any orders to withdraw it.

“Wickremesinghe is saying things that do not suit his position and he is very aggressive as well. That is why we handed a no-confidence motion against him with 112 signatures of MPs. Now Wickremesinghe is claiming that the UPFA MPs did not support the 19A and that the UPFA was reluctant to pass it. But that is not true, as the UPFA worked actively to get the 19A implemented,” he said.