| by Robinhood
( May 17, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Nowadays a widely spoken topic in Sri Lanka is about an unbiased or common candidate who is essential at this moment who can defeat the current Rajapaksa regime, who conducts his governance in an authoritarian way disregarding the human and democratic rights of his citizens and who misappropriate public money. It is important to assess the current political situation of the country before we discuss about the none-party common candidate. At present there are two radical forces in the country. One is the force that protects Mahinda Rajapaksa and the other is the force to defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. There is another sector in between these two, these are the people who don’t use their valuable vote during an election, who are lethargic and a disinterested group in politics who always say “whoever comes to power it would be the same”
When you compare the force of the first two groups, we can able to decide whether the regime is going to get defeated or not in any coming elections. If there is a national election in the coming future, there are certain potential factors owned by the Rajapaksa regime which can be used for its favor. Having a single leadership, able to spend a large amount of public funds, able to manipulate the current lawlessness in favor of the victory, able to buy opposition politicos by the use of public funds thereby weakening the opposition, Able to influence and provoke the layman by nurturing Buddhist racism and extremism, Able to excite the majority by refreshing his leadership of ending the war, able to attract the illiterate majority Buddhist rural community, able to manipulate 75% of media institutions, able to influence the public service, able to influence the police and the military, able to decide the election date and able to manipulate the elections commission are some of his potential factors.
It is completely different when you compare the situation of the opposition. The opposition politicos are not in a position to spend money for elections when you compare with the members of the Rajapaksa regime. They are living in a weak situation where they cannot democratically challenge Rajapaksa in any legal form. They don’t have the equity of the police and as the law is manipulated by the Rajapaksas they cannot expect an equitable justice from the Rajapaksa courts. Since most media institutions are in favor of the regime the opposition has a very limited media freedom and exposure. When the regime refreshes the minds of the people by its synthetic development projects the opposition is lacking a proper methodology to comprehend the true facts to the people. When you consider these facts into account the opposition is rather behind when you compare with the current position of the regime.
Under this situation when you compare the ended inequitable provincial council elections the UNP has obtained 26%, DNA and JVP 10% each and without including the TNA, they are able to reach 46% which is closer to 50%. In order to defeat the Rajapaksa regime, the perception of a common candidate is now created among the ordinary masses. That common candidate should be able to combine the diversity of the opposition. Already there are discussions started to promote a common candidate. Although it is not important to know who the common candidate at this moment but the importance is to lead the common candidate towards victory. Any common candidate chosen for the mechanism should be able to bind the mechanism, and the mechanism should lead the candidate.
There should be two phases to lead the common candidate towards victory. The first is the objective of a common candidate and the second is to lead the common candidate towards victory. There are signs shown from all parties about the objective of the common candidate. The objective is to abolish the current executive presidency and to appoint a Prime Minister who is accountable to the parliament in a limited time frame. This factor should be able to define diverse complexities and able to attract the people who wants a system change.
Since there are signs visible now, of bringing a common candidate, it is essential to design a methodology to lead the common candidate towards victory and able to take the concurrence of all political parties and various groups.
The regime sensing the fear and the challenge of a common candidate now trying to divert people’s attention by portraying the exposure of different common candidates by the help of certain regime sponsored media organizations. The importance element of this is not to identify who the common candidate should be but the historical change done by this common candidate, what mechanism he should use during a certain time frame.
Why we need of a common candidate.
From the day this present constitution was formed it is being crippled and synthetically amended. It is being abused to its maximum by the current Rajapaksa regime. It is abused in such a way that an ordinary citizen cannot expect any elementary democratic rights, human and fundamental rights, rule of law or peoples sovereignty from it. The cause for that is the executive presidency who is above the law. All independent institutions has been suppressed, undermined and brought under control to a situation unable to discharge its duties by the Rajapaksa family rule. That is why it is essential to abolish the executive presidency and transfer the powers to a constitution accountable for the parliament. As a result the need to defeat the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime is essential. In order to that all opposition political parties should rally towards one objective. That is because whatever the opposition party is unable to take a single mandate of 50% to defeat the present UPFA amid all these election abuses and rigging.
According to the present situation roughly the UNP can obtain 26%, JVP 10%, DNA 10% and TNA another 11%. As a result a single political party cannot obtain 50% of votes. But when all join as a coalition, this would be a simple achievement. In order to defeat the Rajapaksa regime a common candidate is essential at this moment. According to this basic simple theory, if one or more political party is against or abstaining its support that shows that it would be a pro Rajapaksa group.
Political parties should comply for an agenda or to a common candidate?
All political parties have an own vision, an agenda and people who supports it. As a matter of fact it is difficult for all political parties to unite. More than selecting a candidate as a common factor it is easy to create a common mechanism which can unite all political parties to achieve a single common objective. Abolishing the executive presidency and creating a new constitution accountable for the parliament is an important factor which everybody cannot abstain. There are different opinions day to day given by various political parties for the formation of a new constitution. But the current and a common agenda which can be united by all political parties is the need to abolish the executive presidential system.
What is the common mechanism?
The common mechanism what we propose against the Rajapaksa should contain only the abolishing the executive presidency. Whoever is the common presidential candidate who wish to defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa should bear only one responsibility. That is to abolish the Executive presidency and render his powers to the parliament and step down his seat. The task of adopting the new constitution should be resolved by the new constituted parliament but not by the common candidate. If not, it is not possible to unite all political forces. Political parties who cannot neglect this common agenda should unite and decide upon a trustworthy common candidate, who will carry out this task.
I wish to bear one proposal to whoever who wish to abolish the executive presidency who is eligible to be a common candidate. He should not be a none-party person from a non political background. It is because there is no group called none-party in Sri Lanka. If it is so, he or she will not be suitable to carry on such an important political task. It is because such a non political person is not able to understand this kind of a political structure. Whoever is a Pythagoras, if he is from a none-political he would definitely be a political idiot? Meanwhile anybody is a none-political candidate; he can be none political only until the date he is selected, once he is selected he would be a biased.
In 2010 we have experience in selecting a negative candidate from a non political background. One such experience is that the inability to coordinate members of other parties. If a common person is chosen from a non political background, in a situation where there are no own members, it is important for him to have trust of members of other parties, having no experience in elections, using the funds collected for elections for other purposes and misappropriating party funds would definitely lead such a candidate to lose the elections. Second such experience is that choosing a none-party candidate without a political background, later setup a political party and the ability to dilute other political parties. If we bring a none- party candidate in the future, even if he wins or lose it is definite that he going to setup a political party on his own. If the none-party common candidate encounters any problem, there are possibilities that political parties would drop him aside which is not justifiable.
Political parties should be able to select a person none other than a candidate who can trust his party and other parties, who can undertake the single task of abolishing the executive presidency as a common mechanism. If the common opposition can comply to such a mechanism it is not difficult to lead whoever the person towards victory.
Common mechanism to abolish the executive presidency
This would be complex legal mechanism which should be discussed by legal experts and political parties before the presidential election. The votes obtained by the common candidate who comes to abolish the executive presidency can also be considered as a referendum to abolish the executive system. It is important to brief the people during election campaigns so that it is not necessary to have another two thirds majority or hold another referendum. What is important is to, legislate people’s sovereignty which is reflected by the victory of the common candidate.
The only task of the appointed common president is to abolish the executive presidency and vesting his powers to the parliament, which should be carried out within a stipulated time frame after his taking his oaths. It is our belief that the time frame should not be less than a month or more than three months. Finally the parliamentary elections should be held under a caretaker government. Appointing independent commissions or adopting a new constitution should be legislated by the new parliament. If anybody tries to succeed these by the common president it would be another revival of an executive power. It is important to come to a conclusion by now about the mechanism to hold the parliamentary elections conducted under the caretaker government which should be discharged by the elected common president. If that can be presented to the people before the elections, we can consider that as a preference obtained to a referendum. This whole process would not take much time because already there is an election mechanism compiled and complied by all political parties and approved by a parliamentary select committee.
If the executive presidential system is abolished there are unimaginable changes happening in current politics in Sri Lanka. Some current synthetic leaders would be wiped out and unimaginable new leaders would be emerged. There is none other ways described above for people who speaks about the need of a system change.
Robinhood – defending the rights of the politically oppressed.