SPEAKER TO ENDORSE LG AMENDMENT BILL

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is expected to endorse the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill on August 31.

Speaker Jayasuriya said his assent to the Bill will be given as soon as the Legal Draftsman sends him the amended Bill. “We have been informed by the Legal draftsman that the Bill would be ready by August 31.

I will place my signature on it no sooner I get it,” the Speaker told the Daily News yesterday.

Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya had reportedly said he would make arrangements to hold the long overdue Local Government Elections within this calendar year if he receives the amended bill certified by the Speaker before September 15.

The Bill passed into law with amendments in Parliament last Friday paving the way to hold the LG elections under a new electoral system.The Bill was to give effect to necessary legal amendments to hold the LG elections under a mixed system, a hybrid of the first-past-the-post (FPP) and the proportional representation (PR).Sixty percent has been allocated to the FPP representation while 40 percent has been allocated to PR representation.

After experimenting the new electoral system at the LG elections,it would thereafter be extended to the Provincial Council elections and national level elections.

The legislation assures 25 percent quota to female representatives. It abolishes the preferential voting system.

The Bill amended the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance (Chapter 262) and provided identification for each electoral ward by giving a name and a number among other requirements. It was done following the lengthy process of delimitation. 

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