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* Sri Lanka constitutional reforms next month
Sun, May 9, 2010, 11:23 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 09, Colombo: Sri Lankan government plans to present the proposals for the constitutional reforms to the parliament next month, a government minister said.

Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena said the government is in the process of preparing the amendments to the Constitution now and they will be presented to the Cabinet for their approval before presenting to the parliament.

According to Minister Sirisena, the proposals will focus on changing the electoral system, establishing an independent commission to implement the 17th amendment to the Constitution, and empowering the public service sector in the country.

Under the present preferential votes system candidates have to spend heavily to win an election and obtain preferential votes that lead to inter party rivalries. The present system does not allow holding by-elections and there is no direct contact between the voter and the elected member.

All proposals have been submitted to the Attorney General at the moment, the Minister told the state-run radio.

The ruling United People's Freedom alliance sought a two-third majority in the parliament at the last month's general election to enable the government to change the constitution.

The ruling party won a total of 127 seats at the general election and with the 17 National List slots secured 144 seats in the 225-member legislature but fell six seats short of the 150 required for the two-third majority.

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