COLOMBO (NewsRadio); A Commission of Inquiry has been appointed to examine all existing election laws and regulations and recommend suitable amendments.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe in pursuance of the provisions of Section 2 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act No. 17 of 1948 (Chapter 393) has appointed the nine-member Commission headed by Retired Chief Justice Priyasath Dep.
According to the gazette extraordinary published with effect from the 15th of October, the Commission is tasked with examining all existing election laws and regulations and make necessary recommendations for the amendment of election laws to suit current needs.
The Commission has been directed to give special consideration to increase women and youth representation, reduce the period between the time of declaration of an election and the release of results after conducting such election, provide an opportunity for electronic voting using modern technology instead of the printed ballot paper, provide facilities for voting by Sri Lankans in overseas, enable a person to contest two elections for the selection of people’s representatives and have the opportunity to represent both councils at the same time if elected, to provide an opportunity for voters not serving in the government sector, who are engaged in provision of election related services on election day, to use postal voting and also to formulate an appropriate mechanism blended with the first-past-the-post voting system for the election of people’s representatives, not limiting to the proportional representation system, but taking into consideration the plural nature of society, and reflecting such plural characteristics.
Furthermore, the Commission of Inquiry has been directed to make recommendations for the formulation of media standards for the appropriate use of media by political parties and independent groups, to make recommendations for the introduction of a code of conduct for political parties, independent groups and their membership in performing political and public affairs and to make recommendations for the strengthening of laws and regulations related to registration of political parties and their operations in a manner that elicits trust and public accountability.
The Commission has been accordingly empowered to hold inquires related to election laws from individuals and directed to submit a report with recommendations within six months.