PAFFREL raises Alarm over proposed electoral amendments, warns of Election delays

A man carrying a ballot box for election in Sri Lanka

(Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP via Getty Images)

While voicing concerns about the Cabinet’s decision to amend the current electoral system for parliamentary elections, the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) has raised alarm over potential delays in the election process.

According to PAFFREL, the proposed amendments endorsed by the Cabinet suggest direct election of 160 Members of Parliament from constituencies, with the remaining 65 seats allocated through a proportional voting system at either the national or provincial level.

PAFFREL’s Executive Director, Rohana Hettiarachchi, highlighted past instances where electoral system amendments in Sri Lanka led to significant delays, citing the postponement of local government and provincial council elections for two years.

Hettiarachchi emphasized the importance of the delimitation process in any electoral system changes, noting instances where delays in this process resulted in election postponements.

PAFFREL cautioned that without political parties reaching a consensus on the delimitation process, the proposed amendments could potentially disrupt the electoral timeline.

Failure to address this issue promptly, PAFFREL warned, may hinder the scheduled electoral process.