Govt. says no to Opposition amendments to Election Expenditure Bill 

Friday, 20 January 2023 00:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Regulation of Election Expenditure Bill was passed in Parliament yesterday with a majority of 61 votes despite stiff opposition. During the debate on the Bill, the Government refused to accept an amendment put forward by the Opposition seeking for the bill not to be applied to an election that has already been announced. 

Following the vote, Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP Dr. Harsha de Silva in a tweet said the Government of President Ranil Wickremesinghe refused to accept an amendment proposed by Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella, that would ensure provisions of the act will not apply to elections proclaimed before the enactment of the act. 

“The Government of Ranil Wickremesinghe refused to accept the Opposition amendment that would not open a window for interested parties to go to court to delay the Sri Lanka Local Government polls due in a matter of weeks,” he said. 

The bill was passed in Parliament with 97 votes in favour, while 36 votes were cast opposing the bill. Samagi Jana Balawegaya, National People’s Power, Freedom People’s Congress, Independent MPs Chandima Weerakkody and Patali Champika Ranawaka voted no while the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, Sri Lanka Freedom Party faction aligned with the Government, Eelam People’s Democratic Party, Nimal Lansa and John Seneviratne voted in favour of the bill. 

The Tamil National Alliance parliamentary group, MPs Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Ganjendrakumar Ponnambalam and C.V. Vigenswaran were not present during the vote. 

The debate on the Regulation of Election Expenditure Bill was taken up in Parliament yesterday despite the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms previously deciding to postpone the debate by one month. 

The Opposition opposed the debate being brought forward, claiming it is yet another attempt by the Government to delay the Local Government elections.


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