Cabinet nod for 20th Amendment

Cabinet nod for 20th Amendment

May 27, 2015   10:45 pm

The Cabinet of the Sri Lankan government today granted approval for the draft bill of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, formulated to change the country’s electoral system, sources said. 

A cabinet meeting was convened today with the participation of President Maithripala Sirisena to take a decision on the 20th amendment.

Sources say that the constitutional bill received cabinet approval, with room to accommodate further changes.

When the draft bill was submitted to the Cabinet by the President, the Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Rauff Hakeem had raised objections citing that it would be unfair to the minor political parties. 

However, President Sirisena then requested that they support the amendment while assuring further alterations of the bill to resolve the issues. 

The 20th amendment looks to change the existing proportional representation (PR) system into a hybrid of PR and first-past-the post (FPP) system and to increase the number of seats in parliament.

The 20 Amendment envisages a 255-seat Parliament with each polling division having at least one representative in Parliament.

196 members will be elected on a first-past-the-post system and a district-based proportional representation (PR) system. The remaining 59 members will be from the National List. There will be some multi-member polling divisions returning two or three victors.

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