Sri Lankan citizens propose minimum educational qualifications for politicians

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan citizens, long used to politicians with more brawn than brains, have proposed that a new constitution in the making stipulates minimum educational qualifications for candidates seeking election to legislative bodies.

According to a report by the Citizens Initiative for Constitutional Change, citizens proposed a minimum Advanced Level qualification for Parliamentary and Provincial Council candidates.

The report, a collection of public views gathered through a nationwide campaign that reached thousands of people through workshops, and email and letter campaigns, set the bar lower for local government candidates however, with the proposed minimum qualification being the Ordinary Level examination.

The Citizens Initiative for Constitutional Change is a coalition of civil society organizations and individuals dedicated to ensuring that Sri Lanka “finally receives a Constitution it deserves” in 2016, said the report published by the Centre for Policy Alternatives, a non-governmental organisation.

“After 38 years of governance under a Constitution that was architected purely by a handful of people, paying no heed to the needs of the populace, the Citizens’ Initiative believed that Sri Lanka has been given a second chance to witness the change they wished to see,” it said.

“Sri Lanka may never get this chance again.”

The new government, formed after presidential and parliamentary polls that ousted the Rajapaksa regime last year, has called for public views and recommendations for the new Constitution.

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