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PAFFREL Raises Concerns Over Proposed Electoral System Amendment, Warns of Potential Election Postponement

People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) has voiced apprehensions regarding the Cabinet’s approval to amend the existing electoral system for parliamentary elections, alleging that such a move could lead to the postponement of the election.

The proposed amendments, endorsed by the Cabinet, suggest that 160 Members of Parliament will be directly elected from constituencies, while the remaining 65 seats will be allocated through a proportional voting system at either the national or provincial level.

Expressing concerns at a press conference, PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi highlighted Sri Lanka’s past encounters with electoral system amendments, which had resulted in jeopardizing the election process and causing delays.

Hettiarachchi cited the example of local government and provincial council elections, which were deferred for two years due to previous electoral system amendments. He emphasized reservations about the proposed amendment potentially leading to similar delays in parliamentary elections.

Furthermore, Hettiarachchi stressed the critical role of the delimitation process in any changes to the electoral system. He pointed out instances where election authorities had been forced to postpone elections due to delays in finalizing the delimitation process.

In light of these concerns, PAFFREL cautioned that the proposed amendments might prompt a delay in elections unless there is consensus among political parties regarding the delimitation process.

Hettiarachchi added, “Failure to promptly address this issue could potentially impede the electoral timeline as scheduled.”

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