PC elections to be held soon | Daily News

PC elections to be held soon

Provincial Councils, Local Government and Sports Minister Faiszer Mustapha yesterday said the Provincial Council elections would be held as soon as possible under the old electoral system given the urgency and need to conduct elections soon.

He was addressing a meeting held with women organisations, civil society organisations and officials at the Ministry to discuss how the 25 percent women’s quota could be accommodated within the old Provincial Council electoral system. The minister explained to the women gathered that given the expediency of the Provincial Council elections, it would not be possible for them to accommodate the 25 per cent women’s quota as promised and that the government would temporarily suspend its implementation until the next election.

He however stressed that he would welcome suggestions from women to incorporate the quota under the old system of proportional representation. Mustapha on his side proposed including it in the nomination list, but the women pointed out that, this was no guarantee that women would be elected to the council, thus making little different in the overall composition of a council.

“If we are to go with the new system which would make including the 25 percent quota easier, we would have to go for a new delimitation report. At present, no Member of Parliament is in favour of the existing report done for the Provincial Council elections’,” he said.

A new report would also mean a further postponement of the election - something which the government is keen on avoiding, the minister further explained.

The Minister also added that the Cabinet Paper on the temporary suspension of the quota specifically mentioned that this would only be suspended for the upcoming election.

“We are very much committed to increasing women’s representation in the political system and the President still believes in a mixed system. We will take it up again after the election,” he added.

Parliament passed the Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Bill to introduce a mandatory 25 percent quota for women at the Provincial Council elections in September 2017.

The minister thus will introduce a Cabinet Paper at the next Cabinet meeting, calling for a temporary suspension of this provision in the Bill and to hold the election for the Eastern, North Central, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Northern and North Western Provincial Council elections under the old electoral system.

At present, the number of women represented at Provincial Council level stands at around four percent.


 

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