Composition of future
House: UNP disagrees with proposals
The main Opposition UNP has disagreed on the composition
of Parliament proposed by the Parliamentary Select Committee on
Electoral Reforms in its interim draft report.
The Parliamentary Select Committee has suggested
that the 225 seats in Parliament be composed of 150 elected MPs
from 150 polling divisions under the first-past-the post (FPP) system,
72 District MPs under the District PR system and 3 National PR MPs
from unrepresented minor parties.
However the UNP has insisted on a total of 125
elected MPs under the FPF system and a 100 members under the PR
system, when it came before the Committee on Tuesday. The Committee
had requested the UNP to re-consider its suggestion.
Parliamentary Select Committee Chairman Minister
Dinesh Gunawardene told The Sunday Times the Committee members discussed
the matter with senior UNP MPs as the disagreement was presently
the only obstruction to present the report to Parliament.
“We discussed the matter with the UNP MPs
and gave them time until Tuesday. We hope they will give us a positive
answer. We explained the importance of having such a composition.
The party will get back to us by next week. All parties have agreed
on the need to have a mixed system of first-past-the-post and Proportional
Representation as the most suitable. If we are to reduce the number
from the FPF, there would be other problems,” he said.
Among the key recommendations of the Committee
was the reintroduction of the Ward system for Local Government elections,
subject to the re-demarcation of electoral boundaries by a fresh
The need for a permanent Delimitation Commission
for Parliamentary and local government elections was viewed as a
vital factor. The Committee recommended that necessary steps be
taken for the constitution of a Delimitation Commission to implement
the proposed system of election for Parliament and local bodies.
Introduction of an electronic voting system has
also drawn the attention of the Committee, as its use will minimize
the heavy expenditure incurred by the Department on manpower during
elections and delays in releasing elections results.