There’s absolutely no interest among Parliamentarians about electoral reform, General Secretary of the ruling United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) and leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Patali Champika Ranawaka told the Sunday Island.
President Maithripala Sirisena pledged during the presidential election campaign to enact reforms to the current electoral system. Electoral reform was a key element of the package of benefits promised in the ‘100 Days Programme’. The matter was discussed intensely in the first few months following President Sirisena’s election. It was argued that the delimitation which reform would necessitate cannot be done before the 100 days expired. There was also disagreement on the total number of Parliamentary seats under a new system. With the dissolution of Parliament all talk of electoral reform ceased.
Speaking further on the matter, Ranawaka, who is now the Minister of Western Province Development and Megapolis, said that it now appears that only he was interested in the 20th Amendment.
‘This was an election promise. Therefore, even though such reform could have adverse consequences to smaller political parties such as ours (the JHU), we pushed for it. Now it’s almost as if only we are interested in the 20th Amendment.’