Commonwealth election observers today said that an independent Election Commission, as outlined in the current Constitution, must be established as a matter of urgency.
Former President of Malta and Chairperson of the observer group, Dr George Abela said that there is a need to promulgate a revised, consolidated Constitution that clearly demarcates constitutional powers and duties, particularly during election time in Sri Lanka, and review the electoral system.
The group notes, which observed the Parliamentary election, noted that less than 10% of nominated candidates in the election were women.
“Serious consideration must be given to affirmative legal measures to ensure adequate participation and representation of women in politics at the national level,” he said.
He also noted that overly restrictive provisions related to campaigning methods need revision in order to facilitate the campaigns of candidates.
He says when existing provisions are implemented to the extent witnessed during this election, print and electronic media are heavily relied on for campaign messaging. This puts candidates with more limited financial resources at a disadvantage. (Colombo Gazette)