Election Expenditure Bill passed with 61 majority | Daily News

Election Expenditure Bill passed with 61 majority

97 MPs voted in favour, 36 MPs voted against
Will not affect this LG poll - Minister Rajapakshe
Opposition’s proposed amendment rejected

The Regulation of Election Expenditure Bill was passed with amendments by the House yesterday (19) with a majority of 61 votes.

A total of 97 MPs voted in favour of the Bill while 36 MPs voted against. MPs of Samagi Jana Balawegaya and National People’s Power among several other Opposition political parties voted against the Bill.

Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyedasa Rajapakshe presented the Bill to the House for the Second Reading.

During the debate, the ruling party did not accept an amendment proposed by the Opposition requesting that the Bill would not be applied   for an election that has already been announced. The Opposition accused the government that passing the Bill is an attempt to postpone the Local Government election.

However, Minister Dr. Wijeyedasa Rajapakshe pointed out that passing of the bill will not affect the LG polls.

Dr.Rajapakshe also said that this is not an act to protect the government or to weaken the Opposition. There was a need for such a law since two and a half decades ago, he noted. When the Speaker endorses this Bill, the deadline for submission of nominations has already ended.

A meeting of party leaders was held in this regard yesterday. There, as the government, we clearly stated that this Bill will be presented today.

The groups involved in this party leader meeting said that there is no need to postpone this Bill any longer. Anyone has the opportunity to submit amendments to the Act.” Dr. Rajapakshe pointed out.

Minister Dr. Wijayadasa Rajapakshe said in the Parliament that he will not accept the amendment presented by Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella to the Elections Expenses Regulation Bill that the bill be exempted from being applied for the upcoming LG polls.

The amendment to the Bill handed over by MP Kiriella to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena states that “the provisions of the Act shall not apply to elections in which nominations have already been called in the enforcement of this Act”. This amendment was rejected by the government.

In addition to that, there was an amendment to remove Sections 28 and 29 of the Act and replace them with advertisement related to the election in newspapers, periodicals, social media, digital boards or any other digital media. The justice Minister acceded to this amendment.



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