22 April 2019
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Dunuwille Mulls a Return to Politics While Neranjan Considers a Bid to Become DN Again

 electionFormer Deputy Minister of Constitutional Affairs (1989-93) and Kandy Mayor (1997-02)  Harindra Dunuwille is planning a comeback to politics while the present Leader of the Opposition in the Kandy Municipal Council Neranjan Wijeyeratne plans to retire from politics and contest the forthcoming election for the post of the Diyawadana Nilame of the Sri Dalada Maligawa. The two UNP veterans revealed their near-term plans in public life in recent exclusive interviews with the Kandy News. We also spoke with six other politicians from Kandy, UNP's Justice PB  Warawewa and Raja Pushpakumara, Asmin Marikar of the SLMC and  SLFP's CPC Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake, Kandy Mayor Mahindra Ratwatte and Kandy District MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage.

Kandy Mayor Mahindra Ratwatte says that he is focused on his job as mayor and has no plans to seek a seat in parliament.

In answer to a question on reform of the current PR system, all except Municipal Councilor Asmin Marikar (SLMC) wanted reform. Most were for the old single member constituency system. However, a few who conceded the need to accommodate the smaller parties that is possible only under PR were willing to accept a mixed system that combines the two. Mr. Marikar wants to keep the current PR system. He says that the single member constituency system encourages divisions such as caste. He also notes that constituencies that elect inefficient MPs could lose.

Mr. Dunuwille who supports a mixed system says that under PR Kandy District almost invariably produces eight Sinhalese MPs four Muslim MPs. That is because PR encourages many voters to vote for candidates of their own community. Mr. Dunuwille is keener to contest in a single member constituency that he believes discourages sectarian division.

There was no enthusiasm on the part of anybody for a coalition of the UNP and SLFP to come forward in the election. Members of both parties insisted that they must contest separately. However, they were willing to support a national government after the election that will permit the two parties to share power and work for the country.

Reflecting the poltical uncertainty that currently prevails our interviewees were very confidant that their own party would emerge victorious in the next parliamentary election.

- www.kandynews.net -

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