President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday this will be the last and the final instance where the largest number of preferential votes polled by a member will be made a criterion to offer Chief Ministerial posts in the Provincial Councils.
Problems relating to preferential votes will not arise in the future as a decision has been made by the government to conduct elections to local and Provincial Councils on electorate and ward basis and steps are being taken to give effect to this decision, he said.
President Rajapaksa made this observation presiding over the oath taking ceremony of Chief Ministers and ministers of the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provincial Councils at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.
The President said the present election system had given rise to many criticisms and allegations and people with suitability and qualifications are left out because a handful could be appointed as Chief Minister and ministers due to constitutional limitations.
President Rajapaksa who noted that there was a difference in Parliament where all MPs could be appointed as ministers if one so desired, added these factors should be taken into focus in bringing constitutional amendments to ensure people’s welfare.
The President who called upon all elected members to dedicate themselves towards serving the people in earnest, said Provincial Council members would be appointed as monitoring MPs to monitor the services rendered to the people by the Councils.
The President who observed that preferential votes should not be a cause for revenge and rivalry with opponents or members of the same Party, requested the elected members of Provincial Councils to take this message to their supporters.
He said the Police had been directed to take stern action against anyone trying to create any post- election violence irrespective of position.