President Maithripala Sirisena Monday met with the political party leaders to seek their opinions and proposals to change the current preferential voting system as stated in his election manifesto.
The President meeting with the party leaders of both government and opposition at the Presidential Secretariat said the peoples' opposition has been drawn at present on the preferential voting system in the same manner as the agitations were conducted against the unrestricted powers of the executive presidency.
He said his personal opinion is that the preferential voting system should be changed and replaced with a mixed electoral system.
The President in his 100-day program pledged to set up an all-party committee to put forward proposals to replace the current preference vote system and replace it with an mixed electoral system that ensures representation of individual members for parliamentary constituencies, with mechanisms for proportionality.
Accordingly the government has already commenced preliminary activities to change the system, the President said.
The meeting was convened to seek the opinions and proposals of the political party leaders.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, opposition leader Nimal Siripala De Silva and leaders of other political parties and secretaries were present at the meeting. The Election Commissioner, the Attorney General and other senior government officials have also attended.
The meeting has focused in-depth attention on an appropriate electoral system devoid of the preferential system. Dinesh Gunawardena committee report which proposes a Mixed Electoral System combining Proportional Representation and first-past-the-post system, was also discussed at the meeting today.
The President has instructed to appoint a subcommittee regarding the changing of the electoral system, if necessary.
The president further said that all politicians must center their vision on a philosophy and not on financial values in order to enhance their image.