Will there be an election in 2024?
A presidential & parliamentary election are due. People are also eagerly awaiting to vote. Most citizens just want an election. They are clueless as to who should come to power & what team can truly solve the problem. They are euthanized into thinking that the next parliament will solve all problems. The problem is that the problem is defined differently by segments of the people. There is no identified common national problem for the nation to focus on & solve. This is the problem Sri Lanka faces. Confounding matters further is the inability of the leaders to identify friends from foes & turning foes into friends and friends into foes, thus self-isolating ourselves for no reason. The biggest problem is the inability to understand how geopolitics influences Sri Lanka’s affairs and devising ways and means to deal with that first.
Sri Lanka is in a catch 22 situation. We cannot trust most parliamentarians. Majority have disappointed us and the few good men in Parliament are kept silent or sidelined.
We saw an elected President suddenly resign and his replacement, probably enters the Guinness Book for the manner he ended up finally on the throne that had been elusive for almost 30 years. This is where he finds himself in a predicament. With Presidential & Parliamentary elections due in 2024/2025, everyone is wondering not only when the elections will be, while a handful of political savvy analysts are wondering if there will be an election.
The former Presidents’ silence on any matter is impacting people’s trust in the SLPP while stalwarts within are busy wondering which party they should cross over to, to stand better chances to return to power. This appears to be the newest form of musical chairs going on in Parliament at present. The lone elephant is now being wooed from all quarters. The mathematics looks simple. With breakaway SLPP/SLFP and SJB converging, the pre-nuptial agreement has been cast to justify minority parties to join to make one grand alliance. 13a chorus is that justification. How far that will impact minority votes is looking sketchy. It all looks honky dory numbers-wise, but does it mean the people will vote for them? If the aragala slogan “no to all 225” holds true, then these deals are worth nothing. Then there is the JVP & NPP & FSP, divided within by ideology but united to remain in the Opposition and enjoy the perks of functioning as trouble maker as well as taking on contracts to politically attack anyone. Unfortunately, this entity is propped by former comrades now happily living on western shores pumping money to their party to ruin the lives of the youth in Sri Lanka. Foreign intel handouts cannot be ruled out either.
While the President maybe calculating his odds, he is unlikely to want to face any embarrassing defeat now that luck & regime change has brought him to the highest position in Sri Lanka. His uncle facing a similar situation, decided not to hold elections and held a referendum & extended Parliamentary term of office. However, he came to power with a 5/6 mandate.
There is possibility that with the economic situation likely to decline from the honeymoon it is artificially enjoying, the odds of holding an election will go against the sitting President. In such a scenario, most leaders have a habit of creating artificial protests and anarchy and then use that to justify delaying of elections. This option is likely to be on the cards as well.
The experiment during the yahapalana government, turning the entire Parliament to a merry home is another option with majority MPs happy to continue power knowing voters are unlikely to want to vote them back to Parliament. So their preferred option is to enjoy the perks while they can whichever party they are able to cross to. These are the low-lifes that are in Parliament today. How many have a semblance of integrity or wish to honor the mandate given to them & protect the Nation & its heritage?
None of the parties have an economic plan for the nation & are only too happy to be taking any amount of loans & dumping the repayment & interest on the public. The ignorant public even the literate do not see the dangers of not having a national policy plan & keeping to that plan. This is primarily due to a handful always wanting to enjoy perks & privileges, whatever party comes to power because they help fund parties to power whichever color the party comes in. The corporates, the academia, the media magnets that prop unsavory individuals to power, have much to answer for.
The Parliamentary debates and decisions are nothing to be happy about – siphoning assets and resources even to tiger funders and leasing out land for 100 years leaves little hope for the people of this generation to take back what belongs to the State. How far these investments have really benefitted the Nation’s treasury is another exercise to investigate as well.
What we should understand is that this family of 225 MPs, 99% are only interested in themselves, not even bothered about maintaining the vision or mission of their party. All of the parties have sacrificed their party ideology. This is one more reason to reject the Parliamentary system and open public debate to introduce a new system of governance altogether.
The Parliamentary system currently in practice is an utter failure, just as the Provincial Council system as a result of the Indo-Lanka Accord. None of the amendments have served the People or the Nation.
Therefore, any new constitution MUST change the existing corrupt Parliamentary system, the system of governance needs to change completely. It must be simplified and be pro-development oriented maximizing on what is suited for our terrain and what our people are good at. We do not need 225 MPs and the current corrupt 1.4m Public Service should undergo reforms and placed in areas where the new national economic plan should make optimum use of them. The 13th amendment must be removed in its entirety. The defense services should remain unchanged as no nation should compromise on national security while a bloated foreign service is unnecessary if the minister only travels and returns bringing bagful of “assurances or promises” which is not worth the expense of the travel.
The people are to blame as well. They have cast vote for the same corrupt candidates who bounce from one party to the next. This is so because all candidates have a habit of making promises they do not mean to keep. If candidates come with goodybags – take them (these are probably siphoned wealth from the State), but don’t vote for them. Apart from a handful of MPs – all others should be rejected at a future election.
Shenali D Waduge