Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Bill:

159 votes in favour, 34 votes against:

Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Bill was passed with a two-thirds majority in Parliament yesterday with amendments.

The Bill received 159 votes in favour and 34 votes against.

Joint Opposition MP Bandula Gunawardena called for a division by name. The TNA, JVP and SLMC voted with the government.

At the end of the Second Reading debate, UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena called for a division on the Bill.

The Bill received 154 votes for and 43 votes against while one abstained from voting.

The Bill proposes measures to hold elections under a hybrid of the First Past the Post and Proportional Representation system.

The Bill seeks to amend the Provincial Councils Elections Act, No. 2 of 1988 to make it binding on all political parties and independent groups to field at least 30 percent female candidates at Provincial Council elections.

The Bill was moved in accordance with the Presidential election pledge to change the electoral system.

However, the Joint Opposition yesterday created a tense situation in the House urging the Speaker to temporarily suspend sittings on two occasions.

The Attorney General too had informed Parliament in the evening that some of the amendments required a two-thirds majority. However,the Government managed to obtain the two-thirds majority and pass the Bill. 


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