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EC awaits Cabinet to greenlight campaign finance reforms

4 months ago

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The Election Commission has written to President Ranil Wickremesinghe, submitting the proposed “Election Propaganda Expenditure/Campaign Finance” Reform Bill to Cabinet for approval, and has informed that it hopes that the Bill will be gazetted no sooner than it receives Cabinet approval.  The Commission has noted that this Bill, which has been drafted by the Legal Draftsman's Department, and approved by the Attorney General's Department and the Special Parliamentary Select Committee on Election Law Reforms, seeks to control the unlimited expenditure incurred by candidates, political parties, and independent groups contesting free and fair elections in order to obtain the people's mandate and preferences.  Furthermore, prior to the conduct of any future poll, the said Bill must be enacted in order to ensure the people's sovereignty, noted Election Commission Chairman Attorney Nimal Punchihewa. According to the press statement by the Commission, the proposals include introducing laws to control campaign related expenditure, strengthening female and youth representation, providing facilities for postal voters to vote prior to the election day, enacting a code of conduct and ethics for the people's representatives, formulating laws to recall elected people's representatives who misuse the people's sovereignty during their term in office, giving a legal accountability to the manifestos of candidates, and establishing an election tribunal to expeditiously resolve election related complaints.  

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