The apprehension on the minority representation has been one of the major the core issue debated over the years in respect of electoral system under the chairmanship of minister Dinesh Gunawardene. But today the proposed LG elections amendment bill goes against the national consensus reached.
It is nothing but a death trap to minor and minority parties. Democracy should pave way for new ideas and new blossoms. Ignoring this fact both major parties are striving for a two party democracy by an unrealistic cosmetic surgery. Both SLFP and UNP are attempting to become exclusive representatives to all the peoples of the country. ‘Join us or get destroyed’ is their message to the smaller parties.
It is exactly the sole representative policy adopted by LTTE said DPF leader Mano Ganesan addressing the 8th annual sessions of Independent National Front (INF) in Colombo. Ganesan said further at the event chaired by INF president Arif Ismail attorney-at-law and attended by WP Governor Alavi Moulana and SLMC MP Aslam,
The new system is supposed to be a mixed system. It proposes of both FPP and PR at 70:30 % respectively. It is mandatory that every party to field list of candidates for all the wards or constituency. The votes of the unwinnable candidates are the basis for the 30% PR nominations.
But every party candidate has to gain a minimum of 5% votes at every single ward or constituency to enter the 30% PR fray. Otherwise the votes of these unwinnable candidates are not accepted for the counting. This clause is a blockade and cuts down the votes of the smaller parties to gain anything in the PR segment. Major parties becoming the winners at both FPP and PR segments is the proposed outcome. Introduction of this 5 % cutoff point dismisses the spirit of the so called mixed system.
Tamil speaking community suspects that both SLFP and UNP are covertly working together in proposing this cutoff point to destroy the minority parties. UNP leader is talking about the smaller issues like the amount of deposit but not about the cutoff point. It is true that rupees five thousand and twenty thousand as deposit amounts respectively for the political parties and independent groups for each and every candidate are unreasonable.
But the cutoff point is more dangerous. Cutoff point makes it compulsory for the minor parties to come into the alliances with major parties. Major parties are using this clause to their advantage. Smaller parties who allow the bill to pass unopposed in the parliament will realize the damage only in the future.