‘Youth to Lead’ proposes minimum youth inclusion quota for politics | Daily News

‘Youth to Lead’ proposes minimum youth inclusion quota for politics

‘Youth to Lead’ Co-Conveners handing over the proposal to MP Imthiaz Bakeer Markar.
‘Youth to Lead’ Co-Conveners handing over the proposal to MP Imthiaz Bakeer Markar.

‘Youth to Lead’, a youth advocacy group promoting youth political participation, handed over proposals focused on the inclusion of a minimum youth quota and the need for broader reforms within the mechanisms of political parties in Sri Lanka to MP Imthiaz Bakeer Markar at the Opposition Leader’s office on Tuesday.

This was a follow-up to a Private Members Bill tabled in the Parliament seeking a mandatory quota of 25% for youth candidates at any upcoming election by SJB MP Imthiaz Bakeer Markar recently.

‘Youth to Lead’ is a youth advocacy group focused on promoting and protecting Sri Lankan youth’s political rights in order to ensure greater youth political participation.

Sachinda Dulanjana, ‘Youth To Lead’ Co-Convener, remarked that it was a pleasure to hand over youth’s suggestions and proposals to MP Imthiaz Bakeer Markar while emphasising the need for youth organisations to work together to back the bill collectively.

Kaveen Muhandiramge, representing ‘Youth to Lead’, spoke of the importance to initiate a broader discussion around youth in politics that focuses on electoral reforms and campaign finance laws to create a more just political landscape for Sri Lankan youth.

Some of the key proposals proposed by ‘Youth to Lead’ are that a no less than 25 percent of the total candidates nominated for local, provincial, and Parliamentary elections would be youth between 18 and 35 years of age, the composition of no less than 25 percent of youth nominations of the total candidates to be not more than 50 percent male and 50 percent female, no less than 25 percent of the youth quota to include a percentage for the representation of differently-abled youth in respective electoral areas.

Establishing a transparent process based on measurable metrics to select candidates in parties when nominating candidates for local, provincial, and Parliamentary elections, as well as reviewing the current electoral system and campaign finances in Sri Lanka that is district-based to ensure greater equality amongst candidates from diverse socio-economic backgrounds are two other key proposals.

Co-Conveners of ‘Youth To Lead’ Bensley Mitchell, Manuri Pabasari, Induwara Arthanayake, Sajini Wickramasinghe, Supun Wijerathna, Tharindu Ranawaka, and Kaveen Muhandiramge were also present.