Sumanthiran congratulates Govt. for introducing bill

The Bill before Parliament is a very important bill that introduces the proportion of 30% of women candidates who have to be nominated in the nomination paper submitted by any political party or an independent group when they contest a Provincial Council Election. said TNA – MP M. A. Sumanthiran in Parliament yesterday.

“This is a very important issue that we have been talking about and when a Bill is debated in the House, any member, under Standing Orders could move committee stage amendments provided notice is given before 12 noon,” he added.

In response to the objections of the Joint Opposition, he said it is not necessary for the government to do it. Any member including himself, could move amendments at committee stage.

“Hence that is not a matter that could be reasonably taken up before an oversight committee. Nevertheless, we are now discussing an important principle of women’s representation and this Bill is very progressive in that, it suggests not less than 30% for women in the nomination papers. Although you nominate 30%, on a nomination paper, their representation is not ensured because it is a way people vote. So 30% on the nomination paper could never ensure even 10% of representation by women.”

Therefore he express pleasure that there is before the House, notice by the government committee stage amendment, which would ensure that at least 25% of women who would actually sit in the provincial council when the provincial council is constituted. “We passed into law an amendment to the Local Authorities Act just two weeks ago in which there was a scheme that was brought in whereby 10% of women’s names are nominated on the lists for votes and not less than 50% of names of women are nominated on the proportional representation list which would then ensure that at least 25% of women could actually sit in the council that is constituted,” he added.

He congratulated the government for introducing this Bill which goes beyond and ensures the objective of this Act which would ensure women’s representation. He said the MPs of the Opposition who were obstructing his speech were obviously against women’s representation. He said it was against more than 50% of the population of this country. More than 51% of the voter population of this country are women and all must laud the government for ensuring that at least 25% of women are being represented.

“The committee stage proposal that has been placed before us confirms the number that has already been determined as a number of members for each provincial council that determination was made as soon as the provincial councils were established by a Provincial Councils Election Act and the President at that time made the order with regard to the number of members of each provincial council.

This amendment seeks to take that number and find the 60% and for 60% of that number the number of electorates are carved out so that an election promise that was made by President Maithripala Sirisena who won the election and all of those who lost the election are standing at the well of the House are trying to prevent the mandate of the people being reached,” he said.

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