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President should emulate the PM

24 August 2015 06:30 pm - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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‘WE CONSISTENTLY HAVE ADHERED TO THE PRINCIPLE THAT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE IS THE PARAMOUNT CONSIDERATION. OUR GOAL TODAY… [IS] TO REACH THE RESULT THAT REFLECTS THE WILL OF THE VOTERS…. THE LAWS ARE INTENDED TO FACILITATE AND SAFEGUARD THE RIGHT OF EACH VOTER TO EXPRESS HIS OR HER WILL IN THE CONTEXT OF OUR REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY. TECHNICAL STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS MUST NOT BE EXALTED OVER THE SUBSTANCE OF THIS RIGHT.’ - EXTRACT FROM A FLORIDA SUPREME COURTS ORDER



They say if you don’t vote, you get the government you deserve, and if you do, you never get the results you expected. We spoke with , prelates, civil society members, political analysts and NGOs singing in chorus against;“Bring back, Oh bring” attempts by disgruntled  sections of the previous government to promote the defeated, although they had a right to seek a fresh mandate from the people. The defeated were vanquished for a second time in seven months as the voter got the message.

However, the latest attempt by those at high echelons to bring back the losers at last week’s polls to the supreme institution through the back door is a slap on the face of the genuine voter. It is worse than stuffing ballot boxes forcefully as they did in the 1980s or in Wayamba  in the 1990s amounting to daylight robbery and an indelible black mark on the whole process of a highly acclaimed ‘free and fair’ polls conducted in history.

 


“The president’s post should not be politicised. Once a president is elected, he is above politics”.
-A. P. J. Abdul Kalam- 11th President of India.


 



UNP honoured the National list
Ranil Wickremasinghe, the new Prime Minister has set the trend; none of the losers were accommodated in UNPs national list— the president needs to toe that line. A news item about voters from the hills saying they listened to the president and other dignitaries crying for the electors to vote only for the uncorrupt and that they ensured the defeat of a big name in the district but they were most disappointed to learn that this man is being marked for entry through the national list by intervention of His Excellency, and that he is to get a Cabinet  posting as well.

Bringing back rejects through the back door will result in voters losing faith in the system

It was Abraham Lincoln who said,“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their backs to the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” But in Sri Lanka elections belong to the party leadership. Each party contesting the poll is required by statute to submit a list 29 prospective national list members at the time of submitting nomination papers. The names included high profile candidates, professionals and intellectuals.

It was done to attract more votes;therefore amending the list after the announcement of results amounts to cheating the voter who trusted the leadership.Sri Lanka is perhaps the only country in the democratic world where candidates rejected by the people were entertained in the legislator through the back-door using a loop-hole in a constitutional provision.



National List
A national list MP is an unelected member who is appointed by a recognised party or an independent group to Parliament.  The allocation of national list MPs to a contending party or an independent group is calculated on the basis of the proportion to the total votes received. 29 national list MPs are appointed along with 196 elected MPs  making a total of 225 members.

The elections commissioner addressing the media stated that he has received two separate national lists from the UPFA’s two factions, one led by President Maithripala Sirisena and the other by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and he is still undecided and awaiting a ruling from the attorney general. There were unconfirmed reports  circulating about a meeting between the two factions to reach a compromise.  If the two parties fail to reach a consensus, the matter could be resolved only at courts, reports added. It is understood that the president’s arm of the UPFA, that lost several key players, is keen to make a few big guns enter Parliament through the back door and into the Cabinet.

The likelihood of the two mainstream parties getting absolute power in Parliament was an uncertainty with  political analysts,observers and media predicting a hung Parliament. The UNP although scored the highest number of seats, they had to be content with 106 while the UPFA received 95. A formidable third power as everybody once expected, could secure only four seats without national list two slots. The president and the UNP have already agreed to form a national government for a period of two years. the agreement was signed soon after the taking of oaths by the PM; therefore several Cabinet portfolios will be allocated to UPFA Members of Parliament as well.

In the recognition of the newly appointed general secretaries of the  SLFP and UPFA it appears, there will be uncertainty of some sort until a final decision was made by the elections commissioner on the national list appointments.Accordingly both Susil Premajayantha and VishwaWarnapala, the two men competing for the post of general secretary  post will present separate national lists to the elections commissioner who has the option of selecting only one list.

Susil Premajayantha will present pro-Rajapaksa names while Professor Warnapala’s  will accommodate President Maithripala Sirisena supporters.Being questioned about this confusion at the press briefing  held at the Elections Department on Friday, the elections commissioner said he will respect the Establishment Code, and hence would not make a comment though he has already received a ruling or the views of  AG on the matter.The internal squabbles within the UPFA and the SLFP will continue even after an EC decision and will make a significant impact on the future of the main Opposition.
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  Comments - 1

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  • Aba Jayasekera Tuesday, 25 August 2015 09:13 PM

    There is no problem now . Susil has resigned and the only secretary of the UPFA is Vishwa.


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