April 10th 2015
The Secretary General
Dear Secretary General
Further to the amendments I have already proposed to the draft 19th amendment to the Constitution as it was gazetted, I wish to also propose the following amendments at the Committee Stage –
- Delete Sections 95 to 99 of the Constitution and replace with
95 (i) Within one week of Sections 95 following being amended, the President shall establish a Delimitation Commission ….(as in current 95). The Commission shall be required to present its Report within three months of its being appointed.
(Current 95 (2) to remain)
96 (1) The Delimitation Commission shall divide Sri Lanka into 150 constituencies so that the population of Sri Lanka shall be divided equitably between those 150 constituencies, with the variation between the constituency having the largest number of voters and that having the smallest number not exceeding 10%.
(Clauses (5) and (6) of the current Constitution shall remain as (2) and (3)
97 The President shall by Proclamation publish the names and boundaries of the constituencies, which shall be the basis of elections to Parliament at the next ensuing General Election.
98 (1) At General Elections, each voter shall be entitled to cast two separate votes. One shall be for an individual, chosen from amongst those nominated for the constituency in which such voter is entitled to vote. The second shall be for a political party, from a list of those registered political parties that are contesting that election. Political parties will be deemed to be contesting the election if they have nominated candidates for at least 5 constituencies.
In addition to candidates nominated for constituencies, each Party contesting the election shall be entitled to nominate on a National List 10 candidates who are distinguished for service in any two of the following areas – Administration, Business Enterprises, Cultural Activities, Education, Social Service. Each Party, in presenting its National List to the Elections Commissioner shall indicate the qualifications of each candidate on that list.
(2) Each constituency will return as the representative of that constituency the individual who received the most votes cast within that constituency.
(3) One hundred more members will be returned to Parliament on the basis of the second party vote, such that the final composition of Parliament shall reflect proportionately the votes cast for each such Party.
(4) Each party shall be told the number of seats to which it is entitled based on the votes cast for such parties.
(5) All candidates elected under 98 (2) shall be seated in Parliament. For any vacancies that remain in the entitlement made under 98 (4), each party may nominate upto half the number of seats it is entitled to from the National List, to the maximum of 10. The remaining vacancies shall be filled by those candidates contesting individual constituencies on behalf of the Party who received the highest percentage of votes in the individual vote.
- (1) Current 99 (13) (a) save that the section from ‘Or independent group’ to ‘Parliament’ should be deleted.
(b) Where the seat of a Member of Parliament elected on the individual vote to a constituency becomes vacant, a bye-election shall be held for that constituency, with each voter being entitled to one individual vote.
(c) Where the seat of a Member of Parliament elected by means of the Party Vote becomes vacant, the political party to which such member belonged shall be entitled to fill that seat, either through nomination of a candidate on its National List, or through the next candidate of those who contested individual constituencies on behalf of the Party who received the highest percentage of votes in the individual vote.
Renumber Clause 104 as 104 (1) and add
104 (2) If the Proclamation under 97 shall not have been made at the time of the next General Election, the Elections Commissioner shall hold such election on the system described above, subject to the proviso that, instead of the 150 constituencies envisaged, he shall proceed on the basis of the current 160
Constituencies. There shall then be only 90 seats available to be apportioned under 98 (3).
104 (3) If any party received more seats on the basis of the constituency vote that it is entitled to under 98 (3), it may retain such seats for the duration of that Parliament, and Parliament shall during such period consist of 250 members plus such overhang.
Rajiva Wijesinha, MP