(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – “We will introduce a method for people to judge/measure candidates who contest in upcoming Local Government Elections, People’s Action For Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said.
He said still no political party has declared how they will select candidates to give nominations. The number of representatives have been doubled from 4,000 to 8,000 increasing people’s burden.
Addressing a press conference held at the Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute in Colombo Wednesday (25) he said that since the preferential vote system is no more, the sole right to select candidates will go to the political parties and the voters will only receive three lists of names to select their candidates. Since the voters do not have a choice, they need to select the best candidate without sticking into one political party. They should select the best candidate no matter from which political party he/she is contesting from.
According to Hettiarachchi, it is the responsibility of all political parties to give nominations to good and non-corrupted candidates without giving nominations to husbands, wives, siblings, children, and relations of politicians, thieves, thugs, and racketeers who do not have qualification and required knowledge to handle public affairs. They should not be given nominations forcing the public to vote for them.
The March 1st Movement will launch a countrywide awareness raising campaign to educate the public on selecting good candidates to represent them in the Local Government bodies. The campaign will commence from Colombo on March 13 and will go on covering the entire country. The negative political culture can be changed into a positive one with the contribution of the entire society, he said.
Representatives of the member organisations of the March 1st Movement also spoke.