Although there was one previous experience of electing a President from the Parliament of this country, this time there is something special.
Earlier in 1993, former President R. Due to the death of Mr Premadasa, the then Acting President Mr DB Wijetunga was elected for the remainder of the term of President Premadasa unanimously, that is, without a poll.
But this time, it has already been said that several candidates will come forward, so if that happens, a poll will have to be held.
Accordingly, it will be a new experience in the parliamentary history of this country.
If the presidency becomes vacant before the end of the term of office, the procedure for electing a new president by Parliament is provided in the Constitution and the Election of the People’s Republic (Special Provisions) Act No. 2 of 1981. Thus, all the activities mentioned here have been mentioned step by step in that act.
What happens on the 19th?
⮚ The Secretary-General must set a date and time for receiving nominations from the Parliament not earlier than 48 hours (two days) and not later than seven days from the announcement that the presidency is vacant.
⮚ Because of this, the Secretary-General informed the Assembly last Saturday the 16th that the Parliament should meet on the 19th Tuesday morning at 10.00 and accept the nominations.
⮚ Thus, the 19th is set aside only for accepting nominations for the presidency.
⮚ The General Secretary of the Parliament acts as the officer in charge of the nomination process.
If elected as President, written consent to hold the position is required in advance…
⮚ Every Member of Parliament who intends to nominate a Member of Parliament to be elected for the vacant office of President must first obtain written consent that the Member he wishes to propose should be elected. Therefore, a copy of it should be handed over to the Secretary-General on the 19th, when nominations will be accepted.
⮚ It is also essential to take care of the disqualifications specified in Article 92 of the Constitution when proposing the name of a member of Parliament for the vacant position of President.
⮚ Accordingly, on that day, a Member of Parliament should contact the Secretary-General and propose another Member of Parliament for the presidency. At the time of making such a proposal, it is essential that the member who is making the proposal be present in the chamber. After that, the proposal should be confirmed by another MP. There is no permission to argue about this.
Is only one member’s name is suggested..??
If only one member’s name is suggested and confirmed in some way, the Secretary-General will announce on the same day that the said member has been elected by the Parliament for the vacant post of President. Accordingly, this matter will be completed soon (in 1993, DB Wijetunga became the President in this manner).
What’s happening on the 20th?
⮚ If the names of more than one MP are proposed and confirmed, the voting should be held on a day not later than two days after the time of acceptance of nominations.
⮚ Accordingly, if two or more names are proposed on the 19th, the 20th will be set aside to conduct the polls and elect the president.
⮚ Here too, the Secretary General of the Parliament acts as the election officer.
How will the voting be conducted?
⮚ Before voting begins, the Returning Officer shows the empty ballot box or empty ballot boxes to the MPs and seals them.
⮚ It is special that the Speaker also has the right to vote in this election.
⮚ Thus, when the voting starts, the name of each MP including the Speaker and the Secretary-General who acts as the Returning Officer will be called. Then the member should go to the returning officer’s desk and get a ballot paper. Then the member in charge of the polling officer will make a short signature with his initials on the back of the ballot paper.
⮚ Then the member who got the ballot paper should go to the chamber prepared in the middle of the chamber, mark the ballot paper and place the short signature of the Returning Officer visible in the box on the Returning Officer’s desk.
How to mark the ballot paper?
⮚ Each MP is entitled to only one vote and the vote must be marked with the number “1” in the box in front of the candidate’s name. There is also an option to mark preferences when there are multiple candidates. Accordingly, according to the number of candidates who have appeared, in the boxes in front of the names of other election candidates, 2, 3 etc. can be marked according to the order of preferences.
Order of preference
a. (Candidate’s Name)
b. (Candidate’s Name)
c. (Candidate’s Name)
⮚ Here, if an error occurs in the marking of a ballot paper due to an oversight on the part of a member of parliament (the Act states that if a member has inadvertently spoiled a ballot paper…) it can be returned to the Returning Officer and if the Returning Officer is satisfied with this, another ballot paper must be given to him. . Also, the spoiled ballot paper should be cancelled immediately by the Returning Officer.
⮚ Voting for the name of a member who did not vote when the name was called should be terminated