TNA refuses to sign electoral reforms interim report

[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 January 2004, 00:10 GMT]
Parliamentary group leader of Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Mr.R.Sampanthan, representing the TNA refused to sign the interim report of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Electoral Reforms tabled in parliament on Friday, saying that electoral reforms within the existing constitution is meaningless for Tamil people as the constitution cannot accomodate a just and fair political solution to the Tamil national question, parliamentary sources said.

Earlier on the day a TNA parliamentary delegation gave evidence before the parliamentary select committee. It said TNA was not prepared take a position on electoral reforms under the existing constitution of the country without finding a just and fair political solution to the Tamil national question, sources said.

TNA delegation comprised parliamentarians Messrs. Mavai Senathirajah, Appathurai Vinayagamoorthy, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, Nadarajah Raviraj, K.Thangavadivel, G.Krishnapillai and M.K.Sivajilingam, sources said.

The TNA delegation told the PSC on electoral reforms that the country needed a new constitution that contains provisions to provide extensive devolution to solve the aspirations of Tamils. “We do not know the nature of the new constitution and also about the future parliament whether it would be unicameral or bicameral. Hence it is not appropriate for the TNA to state their position on the electoral reforms that could be embodied under the existing constitution of the country,” said the TNA delegation, according to parliamentary sources.

Leader of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP), Mr.Dinesh Gunawardene, is the chairman of the PSC on electoral reforms.

Meanwhile, the PSC in its interim report tabled in parliament Friday recommended a new electoral system, a mixture of the first pass the post and proportionate representation, parliamentary sources said. It also recommended that the number of parliamentarians and provincial councilors should not be increased.

PSC chairman Mr.Dinesh Gunawardene later addressing a press conference said the submission of an interim report on electoral reforms has been a start of the major transformation to realize people’s aspiration for a better electoral system, sources said.

Minister Mr.Karu Jayasuriya, a member of the PSC said it’s a beginning for a new electoral system. Peoples Alliance parliamentarian Mr.Nimal Sripala de Silva, another member of the PSC said the interim report included several suggestions that could ensure violence free elections in the country and a stable government in future, sources said.

In the meantime, the life term of the PSC on Electoral Reforms has been extended till 31st June of this year, parliamentary sources said.

 

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