PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi proposed yesterday (14) at the meeting chaired by the Leader of the House Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, to increase the number of electoral districts from 22 to 40, taking into account geographical factors, population and other diversity.
Explaining the need for a advanced voting system, PAFFREL stated in the Committee that it is essential that every voter be given the right to vote. PAFFREL also addressed the Committee on limiting candidate expenses, holding Presidential and General Elections on the same day, implementing an election calendar, identifying and updating loopholes in the electoral process and existing electoral law, preventing misappropriation of state power and state property, updating fines and election law, ensuring the right to information of all voters, the laws on advertising and ensuring adequate women representation.
The Executive Director of PAFFREL also stated at length on the declaration of assets and liabilities of candidates as well as the selection of candidates from the National List, the protection of the independence of the Election Commission and the method of registration of political parties.
However, former Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said it was not practical to hold the Presidential and General Elections on the same day. In his view, only the Parliamentary and Provincial Council elections could be held on the same day, he added. Deshapriya also pointed out that legislation should be enacted soon to control election campaign expenditure.
Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, State Minister Jeevan Thondaman,MPs Anura Dissanayake,Kabir Hashim, Ranjith Madduma Bandara, M.A.Sumanthiran,Mano Ganeshan, Madura Vithanage and Sagara Kariyawasam, Election Commission and Attorney General’s Department officials were also present.