Sri Lanka

Articles about voting issues in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka: Government Set To Abolish Executive Presidential System | NDTV

The Sri Lankan Government is set to move a resolution in Parliament next month to convert the House into a Constitutional Assembly which will initiate the process of drafting a new Constitution and abolishing the executive presidential system. The government has noticed the Parliament of the motion to convert the House into a Constitutional Assembly and it has been placed in the parliamentary order book as upcoming business in the New Year, officials said. The officials said that the Parliament will be transformed into the Constitutional Assembly on January 9 when President Maithripala Sirisena is due to address the House to mark the beginning of his second year in office. Read More

Sri Lanka: Parliamentary elections genuine, ‘well administered’ – European election monitors | Colombo Page

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) that was in the country to monitor the Sri Lanka parliamentary elections held on August 17 said the election was well-administered and genuine although the campaigning was restricted with excessive rules. “The 17 August Parliamentary Elections in Sri Lanka were well-administered and offered voters a genuine choice from among a broad range of political alternatives, although campaign rules were restrictive,” Chief Observer of the EUEOM) Cristian Preda said during the presentation of the preliminary report at a press conference in Colombo today. Read More

Sri Lanka: Voters Reject Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Election, and Prosecution May Follow | The New York Times

Sri Lankan voters decisively rejected former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s comeback bid, election results showed on Tuesday, leaving this island nation firmly in the hands of officials intent on dismantling most of his policies and completing corruption inquiries that have been closing in on him and his family. “We have lost a good fight,” Mr. Rajapaksa told Agence France-Presse early Tuesday. The election, held peacefully on Monday with high voter turnout, determined the makeup of Sri Lanka’s 225-member Parliament. As expected, Mr. Rajapaksa easily won a seat in the chamber. But his political coalition fell short of winning a majority, which he had said would have earned him the right to be named prime minister, the second-most powerful job in the government. The final results showed that Mr. Rajapaksa’s coalition lost support in every region of the country, including areas long viewed as his political base. Read More

Sri Lanka: Mahinda Rajapaksa concedes unlikely to be PM | The Guardian

Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa at first conceded defeat but later rowed back, saying instead that he was unlikely to be prime minister, as figures began to come in following parliamentary elections on Monday night. Electoral authorities said the vote was orderly; however there were fears that if Rajapaksa won a mandate to be prime minister it could trigger a prolonged power struggle with the president, Maithripala Sirisena, who has said he will not appoint him regardless of the outcome. Sirisena defeated Rajapaksa to become president in a January 2015 election. “My dream of becoming prime minister has faded away,” Rajapaksa initially told the Agence France-Presse news agency on Monday night. “I am conceding. We have lost a good fight.” But speaking later to the Reuters news agency he was less definite, saying only that he was unlikely to lead the next government. Read More

Sri Lanka: Election Tests Pace of Postwar Reconciliation | Wall Street Journal

Voters lined up to vote in a national election Monday that will decide whether former president Mahinda Rajapaksa can stage a comeback and how fast the country moves forward with postwar reconciliation as well as economic and political revamping. Polling stations in the Indian Ocean island nation opened at 7 a.m. for Sri Lankans to choose 225 members of Parliament. Police said voting was going smoothly and there had been no major incidents as of the middle of the day. Around 75,000 police have been dispatched to ensure nothing interfered with the poll. Mr. Rajapaksa is seeking a return to power after he was ousted in presidential elections in January. The new president, Maithripala Sirisena, and his supporters accused Mr. Rajapaksa of abusing his power and building an authoritarian regime controlled by his family, which the former president denies. Read More

Sri Lanka: EU to send election observers to Sri Lanka | The Hindu

After a gap of 10 years, the European Union (EU) has decided to send a 70-member delegation of observers to Sri Lanka for the August 17 parliamentary polls. The observers have been drawn from 17 member-countries of the EU. Apart from a core group of eight persons, the team has short-term and long-term observers and at least six Members of the European Parliament. Local observers, who are from the European diplomatic community in Sri Lanka, will also join the team, according to Cristian Preda, Chief Observer and a Romanian member of the European Parliament. Read More

Sri Lanka: Political parties gear up for parliamentary elections | Colombo Page

Sri Lanka’s political parties intend to contest the parliamentary elections next month submitted their lists of candidates for the fray today to the relevant district secretaries. Acceptance of nominations for the General Election scheduled to be held on 17 August 2015, ended today at 12.00 noon, the Elections Department announced. The nomination list of the government party, United National Party (UNP), which formed a common front yesterday with several other political parties against the former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, included UPFA members Minister Champika Ranawaka and Western Provincial Councilor Hirunika Premachandra. Read More

Sri Lanka: President dissolves parliament, clearing way for early election | The Guardian

Sri Lanka’s president dissolved parliament on Friday, a government spokesman said, in an effort to consolidate power and push through political reforms. Two government officials said elections will be held to elect a new parliament on 17 August. The president, Maithripala Sirisena, who was elected on 8 January, needs parliamentary support to push through reforms he has promised, including limits on the powers of the executive presidency. The timing of the parliamentary elections is also important. The United Nations Human Rights Council is expected to release a report in September on human rights abuses during the final phase of the war against the Tamil insurgency in 2009. Read More

Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka considering passing vote to Tamil refugees | Fulton News

If Sri Lanka’s government moves a special parliamentary bill to empower Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in South Indian in the coming weeks, over 50,000 refugees of Sri Lankan origin will be able to vote at the forthcoming parliamentary election. Officials at Sri Lanka’s Election Commission have signalled that the vote can be facilitated if Sri Lanka, together with the Indian administration, prioritize the creation of legal structures for overseas voting. “Many other countries have their expatriates voting, from their current location. Sri Lanka can also take that route,” said Additional Election Commissioner M. M. Mohamed. Read More

Sri Lanka: Monitors say voters obstructed in Sri Lankan election | Al Jazeera

Election monitors said Thursday that voters in northern Sri Lanka were prevented from casting their ballots in an election that pits President Mahinda Rajapaksa against an ally who suddenly defected from the ruling party to run against him. The Center for Monitoring Election Violence, based in the capital of Colombo, also said a hand grenade exploded near a voting station in the northern Jaffna peninsula in the Tamil minority heartland, but that no injuries were reported. Elsewhere, voting appeared to proceed without any major incidents as people formed long lines in Colombo, and turnout was good in Tamil-dominated areas where voting had been poor in previous elections. Polls closed Thursday late afternoon and full results were expected to be announced sometime Friday. Read More