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By the people, for the people
Published Date: 02/11/2018 (Friday)

In lieu of the sudden turn of events, valid questions have been raised about the current turbulent political clime from among the citizenry. Many international media outlets on Monday penned articles concerning the situation with hawkish headlines saying the country is expecting “bloodshed” which sadly shows that the world (The West in particular)  is anticipating chaos in our small island nation, tell tale signs of shaken confidence in Asia’s oldest democracy, but should we give the world the benefit of the doubt?  

Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya on 29 October noted that Parliament is responsible for the delay in holding PC polls, adding that the Commission would go to the Supreme Court within the next three weeks, seeking a ruling regarding the delay and the electoral system under which the said Elections are to be held.  However, with the suspension of the Parliament, the Commission said it will be some time till the PCs Polls.

On closer inspection, one can come to the conclusion that the country is being deeply polarized; from partisan rallies flooding the streets to banners and cutouts popping up here and there, the country is expecting power plays from all sides of the political aisles, but what of the mandate of the people? We can all agree that the fair thing to do is to include the citizenry in the democratic process, the latter of which Party Leaders deeply tout so openly in open air rallies and media conferences. Let’s not have the representatives have all the fun in this trying and exciting (but serious) time in our countries history by letting the people have a say in it.

Deshapriya said the Commission has the capacity to conduct any type of Election within the next three months and added that all Political Party Leaders of the Parliament were informed to urge a Parliamentary decision towards PC Polls. It’s understandable with the entire heated political environment; Party Leaders might not have PC elections in top priority at the moment, and it’s clear that the issues need to be settled down immediately, be it Parliament or Court, so that the entire country is not trapped in a lurch.  

The People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) pointed out that the only option available for the civil society to see to it that the PC Polls are held is to pursue legal action, which, however, was likely to turn out to be self-defeating owing to the time consuming nature of the process.

However, in its first meeting the New Cabinet had decided to call for party meetings with regard to the electoral system debate, calling all parties for a discussion in order to decide under which system the polls should be held. So, there is some hope left for us common people yet! And the so called “little election” is not so little when it comes to showing public consensus and approval, which matters the most.

Yes, our political representatives are elected to do make the hard choices.

 In the public perspective Politicians are now hard pressed to get the House in order to prevent further ruckus. In such crossroads that the country finds itself in it is apt that the authorities convene Parliament as soon as possible, come to an agreement to start PC polling soon because both sides of the divide boasted of public consensus being on their respective sides. 

Let the world know that Asia’s oldest democracy proves that it is still a democracy and not an arrested development. Hold Provincial Council Elections ASAP!

Source: Ceylon Today

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