The biggest positive in amending the Local Authorities Elections Act was the 25 percent provision for women representation, State Minister of Finance Eran Wickremeratne said yesterday.
The increase in women legislators, he noted, was an election pledge that had been fulfilled.
The amendments have done away with electing candidates solely under the proportional representation system and introduced a hybrid system which is a mix of the PR and first-past-the-post systems. Sixty percent of members would elected on the first-past-the post system and the remaining 40 on the PR system.
Wickremeratne said that the new electoral system would help eliminate infighting among candidates of the same party to obtain preferential votes.
Asked why the number of local councilors had been increased by 40 percent at a time when people wanted a reduction in costs incurred to maintain local and provincial councilors and parliamentarians and Ministers, Wickremeratne said it would ensure that each electorate had its own representative.