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Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena yesterday called the newly introduced electoral system for Local Government Bodies as a ‘national crime’ and stressed that it needs to be changed again.

Addressing an event in C.W.W. Kannangara Vidyalaya in Kurunegala, the minister said the newly introduced electoral system is against advanced democracy.

“There was a public outcry against the preferential votes system and many civil organisations, political parties and community leaders urged to change the electoral system and re-introduce the electoral wards system.

A hybrid of the First-Past-the-Post (FPP) system and Proportional Representation (PR) system was worked out as a result. “But it has become a national crime today,” he said.

“The total number of LG members surged from 4,000 to 8,000 and even a small child can understand that it was bad. The country cannot afford the additional expense. Some LG bodies have no space to hold council meetings, and they have financial constraints in increasing the seating capacity. The expenses for council meetings have soared and this is a waste of public money,” he commented.

The minister said the Act has to be changed again rectifying the identified weaknesses. He said it is apparent that the new system is faulty.