SLPP MP proposes to increase EC members

By Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake | Published: 2:00 AM Sep 24 2020

By Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP Sagara Kariyawasam, yesterday (23), proposed in Parliament to increase the number of members of the Election Commission (EC) from three to five. 

Moving an adjournment motion on the progressive report of the EC pertaining to the time period from 7 July, 2019, to 30 September, 2019, he said: 

“Number of members of the EC has created serious issues. For example, one member of the EC openly said not to vote for a particular political party during the last election. Also, there were several delays when issuing preferential numbers for election candidates. What matters is the independency of the Commission as a whole, not the independence of a particular member of the Commission. Therefore, we believe that the number of EC members should be increased from three to five.”

MP Kariyawasam also said that limitations on election propaganda need to be lifted and an advanced voting system should be introduced to allow employees working in essential services such as health, aviation, tourism, and expressways to cast their votes.

He noted that nobody should blame all the members of the Commission because of the conduct of one member. 

“The EC successfully held the General Election in 2020 amidst strict health guidelines given due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the Yahapalana Government was trying to postpone the Local Government election, the EC did not allow that,” he said. 

Seconding the adjournment motion, SLPP MP Premanath Dolawatta criticised the conduct of EC member, Prof. Rathnajeevan Hoole. 

“Prof. Hoole completely ruined the image of the EC. He openly said not to vote for Lotus Bud (Pohottuwa). People lost the respect they had for the EC because of his conduct. That is why we say that the current number of EC members is problematic. As a result, members have to depend on one member when making some decisions,” he said. 

By Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake | Published: 2:00 AM Sep 24 2020

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