The provisions under which such candidates were appointed – the National List Provision ( Article 99A) introduced to the Constitution on 4th May 1988 by the then Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa supported by the 14th Amendment, had two drafts circulated in parliament.
The second contained a provision to the effect which permitted party secretaries to nominate defeated candidates through the national list, a provision not found in the bill approved by the APRC.
The then Prime Minister had in parliament presented the bill approved APRC and had informed the house that. “… Names of the Party nominees are known beforehand and that the voter are aware of the identity of the candidates of the different Parties who are to be elected as National Members…” alluding to the national lists presented to voters prior to an election.
Writing to Colombo Telegraph Kodituwakku says; “It is a mystery as to the insertion of a clause not in the original bill and got it ratified by the speaker who had no power to ratify a bill containing any provision that would takes away sovereign powers of the citizens (enshrined in Article 3 of the Constitution). The law on this point is absolutely clear. Sri Lanka is a representative democracy and in a situation of this nature there shall be a referendum held to obtain people’s mandate to that effect, the result of which should have been ratified by the President and not by the Speaker to make it law of the land.
“Both President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe who had pledged to draw the ‘ good governance’ boundary in their governance mechanisms came into severe criticism by the public for their disregard to the mandategiven to them.”
Several defeated candidates including S.B Dissanayake who publicly admitted that he had threatened elections officers with a “pistol held to their mouth” during the Wayamba elections and was accused of serious misdemonours were appointed cabinet Ministers of the present government having failed to be elected during the last Parliamentary election.
To read Kodituwakku’s article click here