යෝජිත නව ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාව (Third Republic Constitution) Chapter XVII

 CHAPTER XVII

 

THE FRANCHISE AND THE GENERAL ELECTION

 

130.       (1) Every person shall, unless disqualified as hereinafter provided, be qualified to be an elector at the General Election, by-election or to vote at any Referendum:

 

Provided that no such person shall be entitled to vote unless his name is entered in the appropriate Register of Electors.

 

(2) No person shall be qualified to be an elector at General Election, by-election, or to vote at any Referendum, if he is subject to any of the following disqualifications, namely:

(a) if he is not a Citizen of Sri Lanka;

(b) if he has not attained the age of eighteen years on the date of proclamation of the Election, by-election, or referendum;

(c) if he is under any law in force in Sri Lanka found or declared to be of unsound mind;

(d) if he is under Civic Disability.

131.       The qualifications and conditions to be nominated to be President, Vice President, Member of Parliament, Governor, Member of State Assembly, and Local Member shall be as follows.

 

(1)    The candidate shall be a Citizen of Sri Lanka, and shall not be a Citizen of any other country;

(2)    The candidate shall be not less than twenty one years old;

 

(3)    The candidate shall not be over sixty five years old at the time of nomination;

 

(4)    The candidate shall have successfully completed the post-secondary education of the national framework of education;

 

(5)    The candidate shall not be under any law in force in Sri Lanka found or declared to be of unsound mind;

 

(6)    The candidate shall not be under any Civic Disability;

 

(7)    The candidate shall not be serving or not have served in any court as a judge or in any independent Commission as a member, or in any armed force of Sri Lanka during the last five years;

 

(8)    A member shall not be a member of both Parliament and a Local Council at the same time.

 

(9)    President or Vice President shall not be a Member of Parliament or a member of a Local Council;

 

(10)A candidate shall not be a person who has been condemned to death or lifetime sentence by a competent court, who has been given the Presidential Pardon;

 

(11)A candidate contesting or being nominated for the first time shall be required to participate in the one-day educational workshop on politics, law, and good governance, conducted by Elections Commission. The same workshop should be conducted in at least three different days so that a candidate may participate in one of the workshops at his convenience;

 

(12)A candidate shall not be a person who has been convicted of a bribery or corruption by a competent court unless he has been pardoned free by the President and not less than seven years have elapsed since such pardon received; and

 

(13)Any person so elected or appointed subject to the provisions of this Article shall be automatically removed if or when any of the conditions mentioned is breached after such election or appointment; and in such situation, the vacancy shall be filled in as soon as possible in accordance with the law.

132.       The voting for the election and at any Referendum shall be free, equal, and by secret ballot.

 

133.       There shall be one General Election conducted by Elections Commission to elect Members to Parliament and to Local Councils.

 

134.       Elections Commission shall proclaim a General Election at the expiry of the four year’s tenure of the current Parliament or at the moment President dissolves Parliament, and shall conduct a free and fair General Election within not more than six weeks.

 

135.       (1) Recognized Political Parties registered not less than two months before a proclamation of an election, as such at Elections Commission and Independent Political Groups registered within a week after a proclamation of an election, as such at Elections Commission may contest at the election.

(2) A registered political party which contests at the election shall present Nominations of Candidates at least for one whole Province (“Provincial Electorate”).

(3) An independent political group which contests at the election shall present Nominations of Candidates at least for one whole Locality (“Local Electorate”).

(4) Nominations of Candidates shall be separately submitted within two weeks from the date of proclamation of General Election by Elections Commission, for each Locality to the Returning Officer of that Locality, as two lists of nominations of candidates to be elected to Parliament and to be elected to Local Council, respectively.

(5) At least thirty five percent of the Candidates to be elected as Local Members shall be women, and at least thirty five percent of the Candidates to be elected as Members of Parliament shall be women.

(6) At least forty percent of Candidates shall be below the age of forty five years in both women and men.

(7) In calculations as per the paragraphs of (5) and (6) of this Article, a fractional number if any shall lose its decimal part (truncation).

136.       (1) Elections Commission shall cause to obtain within two months since the date of proclamation of General Election, Declaration of Assets and Liabilities of such nominated candidates and their Close Family Members.

(2) Close Family Members shall be deemed to include one’s Spouse, Children, Step-Children, Parents, Step-parents, Siblings, Step-siblings, Grand-Children, Parents of spouse, Siblings of spouse, Spouses of Children, Children of siblings, Partner living together without getting married, and ex-spouses.

(3) It shall be the duty of such Candidates including the Close Family Members, and parents or guardians in case of minors, to comply with the instructions and orders of Elections Commission to submit Asset Declarations in the given format to the Anti-corruption Commission in the manner described in provisions of Chapter XXX; and it shall be a criminal offence defaulting to submit Asset Declarations within the stipulated time period.

(4)  Elections Commission shall have the power to lawfully obtain such details of such people subject to the paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Article, from public and private authorities like Land Registry, Banks, Stock Exchange, Company Registrar, Inland Revenue Department; and such authorities shall furnish such details within one week.

(5) It shall be the duty of such authorities as per the provisions of the paragraph (4) of this Article to furnish most accurate and most updated details required by the Commission, and it shall be regarded as a serious offence against Anti-corruption Commission to furnish false details or intentionally delaying or covering such details.

(6) Anti-corruption Commission shall submit all such declarations as per the provisions of this Article to National Audit Commission to audit them; and it shall be the responsibility of National Audit Commission to finalize audit on such details within two months, and present its audit report to Elections Commission and to Anti-corruption Commission.

(7) Elections Commission shall make such asset declarations public in summary form within thirty days of reception of the audit report in accordance with paragraph (6) of this Article; only incidental details and details amounting to personal identification may be suppressed by Elections Commission when publishing such details.

 

137.       Elections Commission requires to ensure:

 

(1)    That registered political party shall have an internal democratic mechanism written in Party’s Articles which shall be a public document, to elect Chairman and Secretary of such party;

(2)    That registered political parties and independent political groups shall submit estimated proposed budget with receipts and expense of funds for the coming elections within a week since the proclamation of a General Election, and finalized true detailed budget with receipts and expense of funds for the concluded elections, internally audited by a competent auditor within two weeks after the conclusion of the election;

(3)    To submit to National Audit Commission all such documents as mentioned in the paragraph (2) of this Article to be audited;

(4)    That distribution of goods or services to the people either at the expense of the State or private entities during the Election period shall not be carried out by the trustee government headed by President, incumbent Public Service, or contesting candidates or their campaigns;

(5)    That State assets and resources shall not be used by or utilized in a manner to support any contesting party or candidate;

(6)    That State-owned mass media shall be impartial and fair to all contesting parties and candidates;

(7)    That private-owned mass media shall be impartial and fair to all contesting parties and candidates; provided that such media may support a particular political group by prior writing to Elections Commission about their political affiliation.

(8)    To make the election more democratic and free from corruption by imposing a threshold budged values, above which no political party or group or a Candidate contesting the elections shall spend:

Provided that in case of violation of this provision, the Commission shall have the power to indict in the Special High Court secretary, chairman, and treasurer of such political party or group in case of political party or group, or to indict the Candidate in case of the Candidate, and such accused persons shall be subjected to a Civic Disability not more than five years if convicted.

(9)    That a political party or group or a Candidate shall not receive any donation or contribution from a government department, a public corporation, or a company registered under the Companies Act in which the government or a public corporation owns any shares, a foreign government or any State entity of such foreign government, an international organization or a body corporate incorporated or registered outside Sri Lanka, and any donor or contributor whose identity is not disclosed:

Provided that in case of violation of this provision, the Commission shall have the power to indict in the Special High Court secretary, chairman, and treasurer of such political party or group in case of political party or group, or to indict the Candidate in case of the Candidate, and such accused persons shall be subjected to a Civic Disability not more than five years if convicted.

138.        The election of Members to Local Council shall be as follows.

 

(1)    A registered political party or an independent group in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution shall nominate one candidate to each Division (“Divisional Electorate”), and shall list all such nominations for an entire Locality plus three more Candidates (known as “Local List Members”) who shall not be bound to any Division, in one paper to be submitted to the Returning Officer; such submissions shall be separately made to each Locality, if a party or group contests for such Locality;

(2)    Electors may cast his vote in favor of only one Candidate in the Division; elector shall be presented only the list of Candidates in his Division;

(3)    Elections Commission shall have Candidate’s full name and photograph be displayed with the symbol of his political party or group in front, inter alia, in the ballot paper; elector does not have to cast a vote in favor of a political party or group;

(4)    The Candidate of Division who has obtained the most votes in the Division shall be elected by Elections Commission to Local Council; if a tie occurs among two or more Candidates, the party or group which obtains the highest votes in the whole Locality shall win;

(5)    The political party or group who obtains the most votes shall be entitled to elect one Local Member to Local Council from the three seats of Local List Members;

(6)    The Commission shall portion the remaining two seats of Local List Members as follows:


(a) count all the validly cast votes in favor of each political party and group in the Locality, to which Candidates belong (known as “cast votes”);

(b) divide such cast votes by the number of Divisions of the Locality (resulting number known as “Division Proportionality Number”);

(c) select the two mostly polled political parties or groups whose Candidates in any Division have not been elected to Local Council and whose total valid votes obtained exceeds the division proportionality number, and apportion the two remaining seats of Local List Members to such two parties or groups.

(d) if, in the operation of provisions of subparagraph (6)(c) of this Article, any political party or group is not qualified as such, Elections Commission shall apportion the remaining two seats of Local List Members in proportion to the total votes obtained by political parties or groups in the Locality.

(7)    A defeated Candidate may be elected by Elections Commission on the advice of the Secretary of the political party or group as a Member in lieu of election of a Member in the Local List.

139.   The election of Members to Parliament is as follows.

 

(1)    A registered political party or an independent group in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution shall nominate three candidates to each Locality, and shall list all such nominations for an entire Province, plus three more Candidates (known as “Provincial List Members”) who shall not be bound to any Locality, in one paper to be submitted to the Assistant Elections Commissioner in the Province; and such submissions shall be made to each Province separately if a party or group contests in such Province;

(2)    In addition to the nominations as per the paragraph (1) of this Article, a registered political party or an independent group shall submit to Elections Commission a National List with fifteen candidates who shall, in addition to the qualifications required by the Constitution, be having a postgraduate degree;

(3)    Each elector firstly shall cast his vote in favor of the name of his chosen political party or group, and secondly shall mark his preferences for two Candidates in the chosen party or group. Elector shall mark his two preferences to two different Candidates. If an elector only votes in favor of the name of his chosen party or group without marking two preferences, such vote shall be deemed to be invalid to elect a Member of Parliament;

(4)    Elections Commission shall have Candidate’s name and photograph be displayed along with the symbol of the political party or group he belongs to, inter alia, in the ballot paper. Elector shall be presented only the list of Candidates in his Locality;

(5)    The political party or group who obtains the highest votes in a Locality shall be entitled to one seat in Parliament, and Elections Commission shall elect as a Member of Parliament the Candidate who has obtained the highest preference in such party or group; if a tie occurs among two or more parties or groups, the party or group who obtains the highest votes in the whole Province shall win; if a tie occurs among two or more Candidates, one Candidate shall be selected by drawing lots.

(6)    Elections Commission shall calculate the modulo (mathematical operation) of the total votes obtained by a party or group by half of the total valid cast votes in a Locality, and elect the Candidate who could obtain the highest preference of that party or group which has the highest remainder obtained through the modulo calculation:

Provided that if the same political party or group which was selected by operation of provision of paragraph (5) of this Article is entitled to the second seat of the Locality, then the Candidate who has obtained the second most preferences shall be elected as Member of Parliament;

Further provided that a tie occurs, the political party or group who obtains the highest votes in the whole Province shall win;

(7)    Elections Commission shall apportion the three seats of Provincial List Members as follows.

(a) One seat shall be given to the political party or group which obtains the highest number of seats in the Province by operation of paragraphs (5) and (6) of this Article; if a tie occurs, the political party or group which obtains the highest votes in the Province shall win.

(b) One seat shall be given to a political party or group which has not already obtained a seat in the Province by operation of paragraphs of (5) and (6) of this Article, but has obtained the highest votes among others in that Province.

(c) one seat to the political party or group which has obtained the highest seats in Parliament including the seats by operation of the National List provided that such party or group already has not two thirds of the total seats in Parliament; or such seat shall be given to the political party or group who has obtained the next highest seats in Parliament if the government party has already obtained two thirds of the total seats in Parliament;

(8)    A defeated Candidate in the Province may be elected by Elections Commission on the advice of the Secretary of the political party or group as a Member in lieu of election of a Member in the Provincial Member List;

 

(9)    Elections Commission shall elect fifteen Members from National List such that the total validly cast votes shall be divided by fifteen (the resulting number known as “national proportionality number”), then the total votes obtained by a political party or group shall be divided by the national proportionality number (such calculation known as “qualifying calculation”), and the quotient of such division shall in the first round, be the number of seats such party or group shall be entitled; and if, after such apportionment of the seats, still one or several seats remain, the remainder values obtained in the qualifying calculation shall be sorted, and the remaining seats shall, in the second round, be given one for each highest value;

(10)The order of names in the National List shall be significant because Elections Commission shall appoint Members to Parliament from such List in the given order; and no other person outside the List, including those who have been defeated in election shall be appointed.

140.   Vacancy of seat in Local Council shall be entertained by Elections Commission in the following manner.

 

(1)    If Local Member who vacated the seat was elected from a Division, and the unexpired tenure of such Local Council is not less than two years, a by-election shall be conducted by the Elections Commission to elect a new Member to fill in such vacancy:

Provided that the unexpired tenure of such Local Council is less than two years, the vacancy shall not be filled in, and the Local Council shall continue to proceed.

Further provided that the number of such vacancies becomes one third of total seats in Local Council, Local Council shall be automatically dissolved and Governor of the related Province shall assume its responsibilities and duties until next General Election.

(2)     If Local Member who vacated the seat was elected from the Local Member List, the secretary of related political party or group shall nominate the next Candidate in the List or a defeated Candidate in the Locality.

141.   Vacancy of seat in Parliament shall be entertained by Elections Commission in the following manner.

 

(1)    If Member of Parliament who vacated the seat was elected from the National List, then Elections Commission shall appoint the next in the relevant National List.

(2)    If Member of Parliament who vacated the seat was elected in accordance with the provision of paragraphs (5) or (6) of Article 139, then the next Candidate in the same Locality shall be appointed as the Member of Parliament by Elections Commission:

Provided that if appointment of all three candidates is already exhausted, a by-election shall be held for the Locality by Elections Commission if the unexpired tenure is not less than twelve months at the time of occurrence of vacancy;

Further provided that if appointment of all three candidates is already exhausted and unexpired tenure is less than twelve months, the Parliament shall proceed normally notwithstanding such vacancy until next General Election.

(3)    If Member of Parliament who vacated the seat was elected in accordance with the provision of paragraph (7) of Article 135, then the next Candidate in the Provincial Member List or a defeated Candidate in the Province on advice by the secretary of the relevant political party or group shall be appointed as Member of Parliament by the Elections Commission.

142.   A by-election shall be conducted by the Elections Commission in the same manner, mutatis mutandis, a General Election shall be conducted if:

 

(1)    A Local Council is dissolved and unexpired tenure is not less than twenty four months, to elect new Members to the dissolved Local Council.

(2)    A vacancy of seat in Parliament or a Local Council happens in such a way a by-election shall be required as per the provisions of such situations.


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