What is the procedure for the election of a President by Parliament…


(MENAFN – NewsIn.Asia)

Colombo, July 18 (AdaDerana) — The Communication Department of the Sri Lankan Parliament explained the procedure to be followed on Tuesday (19) and Wednesday (20) as the legislature elects a new speaker through a ballot for the first time in the country’s history.

Although there was a previous experience of parliament electing a president in Sri Lanka, this time is special, he said.

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In 1993, in view of the death of former President Ranasinghe Premadasa, DB Wijetunga was elected for the remainder of the presidential term unanimously, without a ballot, as successor president.

But this time, it has already been said that several candidates will come forward, so if that happens, a ballot will have to be held. It will therefore be marked as a new experience in the parliamentary history of this country.

If the office of President becomes vacant before the end of his term, the procedure for the election of a new President by Parliament is provided for in the Constitution and the Presidential Elections (Special Provisions) Act (No. 2 of 1981) .

Thus, all the procedures mentioned below are mentioned step by step in this law.

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What happens on the 19th?

  • The Secretary General must fix a date and time for the reception of the candidatures of the deputies at the earliest 48 hours (two days) and at the latest seven days after the announcement of the vacancy of the post of President.
  • Therefore, the Secretary General informed the House on Saturday 16, that Parliament will meet on Tuesday morning 19 at 10:00 a.m. to accept nominations.
  • Thus, the 19th is reserved solely for the acceptance of candidacies for the presidency.
  • The Secretary General of the Parliament will act as “president of election” on the date fixed for the election of the “president by the Parliament”.

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If elected President, prior written consent is required indicating intent to serve.

  • Any Member who intends to nominate a Member for the vacant office of Speaker must first obtain the written consent of that Member stating his or her intention to serve as Speaker if the Member is elected. Accordingly, a copy of it must be delivered to the Secretary General on the 19th, when nominations are to be accepted.
  • In addition, it is essential to ensure the disqualifications provided for in Article 92 of the Constitution when proposing the name of a deputy for the vacant post of president.
  • Accordingly, on nomination day, a Member must approach the Secretary-General and nominate another Member for the vacant post of Speaker. When proposing, it is essential that the member proposing be present in the hemicycle. After that, the proposed name should be confirmed by another MP. A debate on this subject will not be allowed.

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If only one member name is suggested…??

If only one name of member is proposed and confirmed, the Secretary General will announce it on the same day that this member has been elected by Parliament for the vacant post of President. Accordingly, this procedure will be completed without further delay (in 1993, DB Wijetunga became president in this way).

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What happens on the 20th?

  • If the names of more than one Member are proposed and confirmed, the vote must take place no later than two days after the time for the acceptance of nominations.
  • Consequently, if two or more names are proposed on the 19th, the 20th will be reserved for the election of the president.
  • Here too, the Secretary General of Parliament acts as returning officer.

How will the voting take place?

  • Before voting begins, the returning officer shows the empty ballot box or ballot boxes to the Members and seals them.
  • It is special that the President also has the right to vote in this election.
  • Thus, at the beginning of the vote, the name of each MNA including the president and the secretary general who acts as returning officer will be called. Then the member must go to the office of the returning officer and obtain a ballot. Then, the responsible member of the polling station will put a short signature with his initials on the back of the ballot.
  • After that, the member who obtained the ballot must go to the voting booth arranged in the middle of the room, mark the ballot and put the short signature of the returning officer in a visible place in the box on the desk. of the returning officer.

How to mark the ballot?

  • Each deputy is entitled to only one vote and the vote must be marked with the number “1” in the box in front of the name of the candidate. There is also an option to mark preferences when there are multiple applicants. Thus, according to the number of candidates who presented themselves, in the boxes in front of the names of the other candidates for the election, 2, 3 etc. can be marked in order of preference.
Candidate Name Order of preference
A (name of candidate)
B (name of candidate)
C (candidate name)
  • Here, if an error occurs in the marking of a ballot paper due to an oversight on the part of a deputy (the law states that if a deputy has inadvertently damaged a ballot paper…), it can be returned to the returning officer and if the returning officer is satisfied, another ballot paper will be issued to him. In addition, the spoiled ballot must be immediately canceled by the returning officer.
  • When the name of a member who has not voted is called, the name of a member who has not voted shall be called a second time before the end of the vote, and if that member does not vote, he shall be deemed abstaining from voting.

How will the votes be counted and will the winner be announced?

113 votes to win?

  • After the vote, the number of votes cast for each candidate is counted. If a candidate wishes to go to the place where the counting takes place, he has the possibility of doing so or he can designate another deputy to represent him.
  • If a candidate receives more than one third of the valid votes cast, the returning officer, ie the Secretary General of Parliament, immediately announces that the candidate has been elected President.
  • If no candidate obtains more than a third of the valid votes cast, these procedures will be somewhat prolonged. Then, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated from the competition. If each MP who voted as the first preference for the candidate withdrawn from the contest has their second preference, they will be added to the respective candidate.
  • Even if no candidate has obtained more than two-thirds of the valid votes, the candidate who obtained the fewest votes in each calculation is removed from the contest and votes are added to the remaining candidates in second, third, etc.
  • Even after that, if no candidate has obtained one of the two valid votes, the election official will declare that the candidate who obtained the majority of the votes at the end of the counting as above has been elected to the office of President. .
  • In addition, when the votes are equal between two or more candidates, a draw will be made at the sole discretion of the election chair.
  • In addition, the name of the candidate must be published by the Secretary General in the Official Gazette within three days of the election of the President.

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