Assembly of minor parties (AMP) which met yesterday resolved to push for double vote system and claimed that it would strengthen the mandate received by president Maithripala Sirisena at the January 8th elections. Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) leader Mano Ganesan dismissed the school of thought that minority parties are sabotaging the 20A as absurd and misleading. He said they are for the electoral reform and extend fullest support to president Maithripala Sirisena’s reform concept that seeks MPs for every polling division and abolishes preferential vote.
Issuing a statement today the TPA said;”We demand to qualify above concept with the proposal to grant double votes to every voter. The double vote will enable the voters to use one vote to elect his or her candidate of choice in the polling division and use the other vote to select his or her party of choice. The vote to candidate will immediately be calculated to choose the MP of the polling division while the vote to party will be calculated to nationally. The voters are at peace selecting the right and capable person of their choice at their electorate while expressing their loyalty to their party through the party vote. This is an exercise of adding more meaning to the electoral process. Besides, the double vote element added to president Sirisena’s electoral reform package will ensure the existence of the minor parties. The minor parties are very necessary elements in a functioning democracy like Sri Lanka.
“As the double vote is value addition to electoral reforms proposed by the president, we demand the inclusion of this element in already proposed 20A. We have decided to refrain from supporting the 20A in the current format that is minus double vote element.
“It is wrong to consider the double vote concept as the demand of the ethnic minority parties alone. Number of alternative political parties in the national political spectrum have joined the campaign. Many civil society organizations have already pledged support to this concept. Yesterday’s meeting was attended by MP Vijitha Herath of JVP, MP Tissa Vitarana of LSSP, Mr. Ananda Mamaduwa, General Secretary of Democratic Party led by Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka with many other minor and minority party leaders. We together demand the addition of double vote element to 20A.
“Accommodating the concepts of seeking MPs for every polling division, abolishing preferential vote and double vote in one and same set of proposals are not going to be a difficult task. We do not require foreign brains for this. The Srilankan experts and mathematicians who have already drawn up new proposals are capable of developing new proposals satisfying all sectors.
“AMP has also decided to create a campaign movement in collaboration political and civil society organization in coming days.”