Colombo, Feb 10 (PTI) There is no consensus among Sri Lankan political parties for electoral reforms, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sunday.
Sri Lanka adopted a new system of hybrid elections, proportional representation and first past the post, in the local council elections held a year ago.
The major parties want to revert to the full proportional representation system which was in force for all elections held since 1988.
Addressing a public gathering in the southern town of Balapitiya, Wickremesinghe said: “There are differences among political parties on the new system of elections”.
While the major political parties are in agreement, the smaller parties and minority parties are not, he said.
“Smaller parties say their chances are not good in a mixed system. The major political parties are for the proportional representation with safeguards to ensure stable government formation,” Wickremesinghe said.
His comments came as President Maithripala Sirisena said efforts must be taken to hold provincial elections as soon as possible while ruling out the possibility of holding a snap presidential polls before its schedule in November this year.
“A presidential election cannot be forced,” Sirisena said, referring to the demand of Wickremesinghe’s party.
Main opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa’s party prefers early parliamentary elections ahead of its 2020 August schedule.
Six of the nine provinces must go to polls now to elect a body for a five-year term with three other provinces ending their terms later this year.
Provincial polls are being delayed to enable the legislature to implement the delimitation commission recommendations which would allow the elections to be held under the hybrid system of proportional representation and first past the post.
The opposition led by Rajapaksa accuses Wickremesinghe of delaying elections for the fear of losing them.
Rajapaksa’s new party swept the local elections held under the hybrid system last year.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.