Written by Bella Dalima
12 Mar, 2015 | 9:48 pm
A proposal compiled by the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) which outlines what political parties should do when selecting nominees for their party was presented to the Elections Commissioner on Thursday (March 12)
Termed the “March 12th declaration”, the proposal contains three primary points.
It requests that when nominations are being made to consider whether candidates are persons, who have been punished for a crime, have been involved in harmful businesses including drugs, have used political power in an arbitrary manner. The proposal also calls on political parties to include a considerable amount of female and youth representives.
The document was signed by Government and Opposition politicians. Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya speaking at the event said that this is not binding document and called for such recommendations to be introduced as a bill or included into the constitution in-order to ensure that it is a binding document.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the gathering noted that Parliamentarians are often called thieves and drug dealers at present and noted that those with allegations against them are being taken before the Commission to investigate allegations of Bribery or Corruption. The Prime Minister went onto note that they would continue to fight for good governance.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s statement, Opposition Leader, Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the system where public representatives will be held accountable for their electorate needs to be dismantled and replaced with a better system. He however warned the current administration not to implement an electoral system for their own political gains. The Opposition Leader also requested the Prime Minister not to cause obstructions to the effective political culture in this country.
Meanwhile, JVP MP, Sunil Handunnetti speaking at the event noted that clause should be added to the PAFFREL proposal which makes it impossible for politicians who cross over to contest.
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