Sri Lanka’s business chamber calls for early election, says overseas business community is concerned

election

Mar 26,2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said, that the government should calls for early parliamentary election without a delay , so that policies can be formulated and implemented to kick-start the economy and exploit its true potential.

“We once again reiterate the need for conducting parliamentary elections without delay,” the chamber said in a statement.

“The contradictions emerging from amongst the diverse political forces currently forming a coalition government are leading to instability,”

“The business community is concerned as are potential investors from overseas,”

“The mandate for the present government was to implement a 100 day program & currently more than 30 days have passed from the date Parliament was meant to be dissolved, i.e. 23 rd April,”

“National policies including those relating to the economy are on the back burner pending a general election and the formation of a government with an appropriate mandate,”

“It is imperative that such a government is elected to office at the earliest so that policies can be formulated & implemented to kick-start the economy and exploit its true potential. “

The chamber also asked all the political parties to nominate candidates with an unblemished record strictly abiding by the criteria outlined in the March 12 th Declaration.

“This would be the first step towards establishing a political culture that truly serves the needs of the people of Sri Lanka.”

The full statement reproduced below :-

The Ceylon Chamber statement on the ‘March 12 th Deceleration’ The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the endorsement of the ‘March 12 th Declaration,’ an initiative of PAFFREL and the ‘Citizens’ Collective’. The declaration identifies a minimum set of criteria that political parties should use when selecting candidates to face all future elections.

We strongly believe that a political culture enshrined with true democratic ideals, free of corruption and other social malice are an absolute necessity for a truly productive and competitive private sector.
Such a culture will help attract quality investment, both local and foreign, enhance international trade and create an environment conducive to achieving inclusive and sustainable economic growth thus fulfilling the aspirations of all our people. We strongly believe that the time has arrived to foster such qualitative change in the political culture of our nation. In this context, we applaud this most important initiative taken by PAFFREL & Citizens’ Collective. We are also pleased to note that almost all political parties have endorsed the March 12 th Declaration thus demonstrating their commitment towards establishing such a political culture.

In this context, we applaud the decision taken by The President in not extending the tenure of Local Government Institutions thus paving way for the people to exercise their franchise and select those whom they believe can serve them best. We consider this a positive step in reinforcing democratic ideals and good governance in the Country.

In the same tenor, we once again reiterate the need for conducting parliamentary elections without delay. The contradictions emerging from amongst the diverse political forces currently forming a coalition government are leading to instability. The business community is concerned as are potential investors from overseas. The mandate for the present government was to implement a 100 day program & currently more than 30 days have passed from the date Parliament was meant to be dissolved, i.e. 23 rd April. National policies including those relating to the economy are on the back burner pending a general election and the formation of a government with an appropriate mandate. It is imperative that such a government is elected to office at the earliest so that policies can be formulated & implemented to kick-start the economy and exploit its true potential. However, in the event there is consensus amongst political parties that other constitutional amendments – including electoral reforms – are vital before parliamentary elections, we urge that such enactments are expedited considering the serious impact that any delay & the associated uncertainty has on the national economy.

Elections, both at national and local government level are in the offing and the Chamber reiterates that the onus is now on the leadership of all political parties to demonstrate their true commitment indeed by nominating candidates with an unblemished record, strictly abiding by the criteria outlined in the March 12 th Declaration. This would be the first step towards establishing a political culture that truly serves the needs of the people of Sri Lanka.

The Chamber whilst endorsing this timely initiative, assures its fullest & continued support to propagate the important ideals set out in the March 12 th Declaration and in realizing the objectives enshrined therein.