The Regulation of Campaign Finances and the Electoral Process in Sri Lanka 

It is the eighth decade that’s being elapsed since Sri Lanka was bestowed with universal franchise. Apart from few instances, which took place in certain elections, Sri Lanka could boast of a proud history in terms of elections with a unique identity. If any electoral reform regardless of its model or approach, should take place following the tradition that reflects the Sri Lankan identity in elections. Not a single country in the world has formulated a perfect election system.

Accordingly, a certain level of regulation should be exercised on campaign finances with a proper understanding about the prevailing political background in the country. Hence a regulating mechanism should be formulated through a series of consultative discussions with the involvement of Election Commission, political parties, Election Observing Organizations and other stakeholders. The following points should be taken into account in such an undertaking that is carried out with the legal sphere.

Introducing fundamental requisites on assets and liabilities of political parties and candidates should become the basis to any regulatory mechanism.

Regardless of the nature of regulatory mechanism thus introduced, it should not distance the politician from the elector. It is essential to make sure that such a mechanism does not curtail the freedom of expression.

The politicians should be convinced that the money is received as a privilege for engaging in responsible politics. Accordingly it is important to discuss about the ways of refining the mechanism to be agreeable for both the politicians and the voters while considering the need for inculcating the useful best practices and elements of other systems adopted and recognized internationally.

Read the articles in Sinhala below – translations will be made available soon.

Assets, Liabilities and Elections

Campaign Finance – Not a new Concept

Towards a Clean Political Culture