National List: The Gap between Legality and Public Perception
The UNP, UPFA and JVP have all sent defeated candidates to parliament through the national list. Do not be surprised if the TNA decides to send defeated candidate and former MP Suresh Premachandra to parliament through the national list shortly.
S.B.Dissananyaka, Wijth Wjayamuni Zoyza, Lakshman yapa, Mahinda Samarasingha, MLAM Hisbulla, Thilanga Sumathipala and Angajan Ramanadhan appointed as the UPFA National List MPs. UNP has appointed M.H.Navavi and JVP appointed Sunil Hadunnetthi. Even though it's not finalized Suresh Premachandran who contested under the TNA ticket from Jaffna district and Vino-noga Radhalingam who contested from the Vanni District might make the TNA national list.
It is clear that the UPFA and JVP has sent defeated candidates back to parliament but most people do not realize that the UNP has not differed from this practice. Defeated candidate Mohamed Haniffa Mohamed Navavi who contested in the Puttalam District under preferential number 10 has been sent to parliament through the UNPs national list. Hence, there is only a half truth to the statement made by Kabir Hashim regarding the UNP not sending defeated candidates to parliament through the national list.
Sending defeated candidates to parliament through the national list is actually legal according to the 1987 Article 1 Regulation. This is correct as long as they have contested for the election at the time.
A bit of history
During Chandrika's 2004 period Ratnasiri Wickramanayakas name was not on the district list nor the national list. His name was not included in the National List published under Article 99A of the Constitution or in the Nomination Papers of the UPFA. Yet his name was gazetted. Election monitoring organizations went to courts over this incident. The Supreme Court ruled that this was legal. When Basil Rajapaksa was brought to Parliament through the UPFA national list in place on Anwer Ismail in 2007 September, I along with many others protested against this and I was followed around for days by a Black Colored Honda bike for doing so. That was the very beginning of the what we came to understand as the 'white van culture', I can still remember sleeping in my friends houses to avoid surveillance.
We have proposed that the National List be a 'closed list' in the new 20th Amendment. Almost all political parties opposed this. Parliament makes the laws. What is happening right now is under these laws and the Constitution.
All who oppose bringing back MPs from the back door should join together to change this electoral system. Please join us in any capacity in this struggle. We can put a full stop to this practice of allowing the candidates rejected by the people to enter parliament through 'the back door'. Until then, it is pointless to criticize this practice un-constructively.
Untill then, to all my good friends appointed as National List MPs, we wish you, good luck!
Executive Director of CaFFE