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PSC on electoral reform recommends scrutiny of election expenses and a code of conduct for candidates

By on June 26, 2022 0

  • Committee presents its final report to the House
  • Made 15 recommendations, including guidelines for the media during election campaigns, measures to end the abuse of state resources
  • Recommends greater representation of youth and women

A parliamentary committee which looked into electoral reforms recommended that legislation be introduced to control election spending, a code of conduct for candidates and measures to prevent the misuse of state resources during elections. election campaigns.

The final report of the parliament’s select committee tasked with identifying appropriate reforms to electoral laws and the electoral system and recommending necessary changes, which was presented to parliament last week, contains 25 observations and 15 recommendations.

The report was tabled in Parliament by its President, Minister of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government and Leader of the House of Parliament, Dinesh Gunawardena.

This committee, which met for the first time on May 17, 2021, received more than 160 representations from non-governmental organizations, religious organizations, women’s groups, representatives of various cultural and ethnic groups and the general public in response to a press release issued to the public and representatives of organizations interested in electoral reform, asking them to present a representation respecting the right to freedom of expression.

69 recognized political parties were solicited for their representations and 36 submitted their written and oral representations to the Committee.

The Committee then tabled the final report of the Committee, taking into account all oral and written representations made by recognized political parties, the general public and interested organizations, women’s organizations and electronic media institutions during the 29 meetings. of the Committee held.

During the presentation of the report, the chairman of the committee, Dinesh Gunawardena, gave an overview of the recommendations, including the modification of the existing laws relating to the elections of the provincial council or the formulation of new rules and regulations or their keeping within the framework of the system. previous election.

The Committee also recommended greater representation of youth and women in elected bodies and stated that the role of the media during the election period should be taken into consideration in line with observations made to the Committee by the Electoral Commission.

The Committee recommended guidelines for the media to address issues such as the conduct of political propaganda activities through electronic media, the violation of electoral laws on social media platforms, the misinterpretation of information and the dissemination of fake news.

Recommendations on electoral systems were made for local government, provincial councils and parliamentary elections, as well as recommendations on increasing women’s representation.

Recommendations were also made for the introduction of legal provisions mandating the allocation of a 25% quota for youth representation in the nomination lists for local government elections and provincial council elections under the representation young people.

This report also includes recommendations on the electoral campaign, the right to vote, the nomination process, the electoral process, the electoral tribunal, the delegation of powers from local government institutions and provincial councils to the commissioner/secretary and the provincial secretary until to the election. is over, the lack of approval of the annual budget by a local government authority, restrictions on field agents to contest local government elections, the national list and demarcation.