New local election law will trim campaign spending


By Franklin. R. Satyapalan

The new Local Government elections law that is now before the Supreme Court will reduce excessive elections spending, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said yesterday. Gunawardena who chaired the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms said that the Bill would be taken up for debate once the Supreme Court determination is conveyed to the Speaker and he announces the order when the Bill can be taken up for consideration under procedures set down in the constitution and Parliament’s Standing Orders.

The MEP leader said that the adoption of the new legislation will change the existing preferential voting system under Proportional Representation (PR) which has failed to win the confidence of the voters and revert to a better system of ward representation with the losers too accommodated as under PR.

Various parties and organizations have made representations on the Bill. These would be examined by the Supreme Court the minister said.

He said that the Bill had been drafted in consultation with the opposition to effect necessary changes in the local government elections system to enable residents of local authority areas to obtain better services from their elected representatives.

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