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Mixed electoral system on the way

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20th Amendment

The Cabinet is to deliberate on a draft 20th Amendment to the Constitution that seeks to reform the electoral system. ‘The Nation’ learns that if approved the draft Amendment will be gazetted on Monday, April 27.

There are five salient features in the two major proposals presented at the parliament recently, with which minority parties can easily agree to. First of which is increasing parliament seats from 225 to 255.

This is justifiable as the number of voters have increased from 75,000 to 150,000 since the 225 seat system was introduced.

Secondly, 196 of the 255 seats are to be equally distributed among all electorates under the existing proportional representation system. Under this quality of the existing proportional representation system, it would provide equal opportunity to minority parties for parliamentary representation.

Under the proposed system a delimitation commission will be established. This delimitation commission must separate electoral districts to suitable electoral regions. Various factors such as geography, ethnic ratio, economic development level, cultural traits, number of voters must be taken into consideration when designating these electoral regions. Moreover apart from first-past-the-post multiple member seats can be introduced. Consequently 165 members will be elected.

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