The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said today provisions should be included in the Standing Orders to prevent amendments contradicting the original Bill being introduced during the Committee Stage.
JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told a news conference that they acknowledged the fact that the government had introduced amendments, which changed the core meaning of the bills presented in Parliament recently including that of the Local Government Elections (Amendments) Bill and the Provincial Councils (Amendment) Bill.
He said it had been the parliamentary tradition to do so with the previous government as well when introducing the 18th Amendment.
Mr. Dissanayake said they supported the Provincial Councils (Amendment) Bill at its second and third readings not with the intention of delaying the PC polls but of the need to change the electoral system and increase women representation in provincial councils.
He asked why the joint opposition voted against the Bill at the second reading if it was in favour of increasing women representation.
He said the JVP voted for the Bill during second and third reading because they supported the increase of women representation and change in electoral system.
Mr. Dissanayake said it was true that PC polls get delayed by four months due to the Bill and added that they wanted the Local Government election be held earlier than the elections to three provincial councils.
“If the PC Amendment Bill was not passed, the long overdue local government elections will be further delayed and elections to three provincial councils will be held earlier. We want elections for the whole country rather than to three provinces so that the government could not use its full power in three provinces and force the result like what was done by the previous government," he said.
“On the other hand it also removed the preferential voting system for PC polls as well. If it was not so there would have been two electoral systems, one for LG polls and another for PC polls. We voted for the Bill because we agreed to these changes. It would have been passed even without our support,” he said. (Ajith Siriwardana)