CMEV says increasing elections commissioners is irrational decision | Daily News

CMEV says increasing elections commissioners is irrational decision

Manjula Gajanayke
Manjula Gajanayke

Center for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) National Coordinator Manjula Gajanayake said that increasing the number of Elections Commissioners to five was an irrational decision on the part of the lawmakers.

Gajanayake said that elections had been managed by a single person for 60 years before the EC was appointed in 2015. “It would have been better to reduce the required quorum of the EC to two from three members rather than increasing the members,” he said.

The 20th Amendment to the Constitution Article 104G was amended to read as “(1) There shall be an Elections Commission consisting of five members appointed by the President subject to the provisions of Article 41A from amongst persons who have distinguished themselves in any profession or in the field of administration or education. One of the members so appointed should be a retired officer of the Department of Elections or Election Commission, who has held office as a Deputy Commissioner of Elections or above. The President shall appoint one member as its Chairman.”

Gajanayake said that the power of the EC was important but the personalities of its members was more important. He alleged that the increase in number was to provide opportunities for persons already earmarked.

Welcoming the decision to appoint a ‘Parliamentary Council’ to replace the Constitutional Council, Gajanayake said that it has not been bestowed with sufficient powers.

“Now at least one of the six persons (five members of the Commission and the Commissioner-General) would have past experience in conducting elections,” he said.