Since the election of a new Parliament in 2010, the following months were largely spent on introducing vital amendments to important laws including the Constitution and the local election laws. In September 18th amendment to the constitution was introduced and in October, significant changes were made to the country’s local government election law.
Like The Eighteenth Amendment which was passed in Parliament with a 2/3 majority in the House, the Local Government Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill too was presented to Parliament in October with little discussion both in Parliament and outside.
The impact of the new legislation was not subjected to a robust public discussion despite its impact on our fundamental rights. As objectors to the bill pointed out the First Past the Post dilutes in practice the Constitutional objective of a Representative Democracy as the system is not one that embraces the concept of inclusivity that provides for the inclusion of all possible political opinions. Limiting the representatives chosen by Proportional Representative System to a maximum of 30% diminishes the chance to exercise the fundamental rights and franchise of the people by marginalizing a significant section of our population.
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