Violation of people’s franchise
Posted on August 27th, 2015

Neville Ladduwahetty Courtesy Island


Since none of the political parties that contested the recently concluded Parliamentary Elections of August 17th received a sufficient majority of votes to form a government, attempts are being made by the UNP and the SLFP to form a National Government. Since such attempts need to conform with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution given below are the relevant provisions relating to the formation of a National Government.

Article 46, (4): “Notwithstanding anything contained in paragraph (1) of this Article, where the recognized political party or the independent group which obtains highest number of seats in Parliament forms a National Government, The number of Ministers in the Cabinet of Ministers, the number of Ministers who are not Cabinet Ministers and the number of Deputy ministers shall be determined by Parliament”.

(5): “For the purpose of paragraph (4), National Government means, a Government formed by the recognized political party or the independent group which obtains the highest number of seats in Parliament together with the other recognized political parties or independent groups”.

The key words in (4) is “recognized political party…which obtains highest number of seats in parliament” and in (5) is “together with other recognized political parties”.

The “recognized political party” that obtained the highest number of seats in Parliament was the UNFGG. A coalition of political parties that formed the UNFGG received the “highest number of seats in Parliament”.

Similarly the “recognized political party” that obtained the second highest number of seats in Parliament was the UPFA. This is also a coalition of parties.

Therefore, if a National Government is to be formed the UNFGG as the party with the highest seats in Parliament has to form it “with other recognized political parties” (plural). This must mean not with any particular party/coalition in Parliament but with ALL other parties represented in Parliament if the 19th Amendment is not to be violated.

Thus, the current attempts to form a National Government consisting of the UNP and the SLFP would be in violation of the provisions of the 19th Amendment stated above, since the UNP and the SLFP did not contest the Election as “recognized political parties”. Instead, the UNP and SLFP were constituents of two separate coalitions. The two recognized coalitions that people voted for were UNFGG and UPFA. Therefore, the ongoing attempts to form a National Government made up of constituent members of two coalitions – the UNP and SLFP – would constitute a violation of the sovereignty of the people under Article 3, since the people did not exercise their franchise to elect either the UNP or the SLFP. Consequently, a Government, by whatever name, made up of two constituent parties such as the UNP or the SLFP that did not contest the August 17 parliamentary election, would be illegitimate.


One Response to “Violation of people’s franchise”

  1. Cerberus Says:

    Mr. Ladduwahetty, Thank you for a very good analysis which is very revealing showing how elections have been manipulated in a subtle way. As you have clearly pointed out there has been a travesty of justice. The election has been marred by many violation of the election laws including those by President Sirisena. The election commissiner has maintained a deafening silence. Rev. Sobitha was so full of self righteous anger because UPFA some members had gifted “Sil Redi” after the day that all electioneering was supposed to stop. What is he going to do about what his protege MY3 did to the UPFA and President Mahinda Rajapakse? Was that not a far greater violation of election laws and our Constitution and even the UPFA Constitution?The man who contested as a simple Gamarala has now shown his true colors as a dictator of the worst kind. As in the case of UNFFG party which was registered for the elections but ran under the UNP name and symbol of elephant the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) made up of TELO, PLOTE and EPRLF ran under TNA. Someone needs to look into all these anomalies.

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