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Sri Lankan voters urged to demand assets of parliamentary candidates

EconomyNext – Sri Lankan voters should ask candidates at next month’s parliamentary polls to declare their assets and only vote for those with good education and experience and a national outlook, a minister said.

“To get a job you need a real qualification and a character certificate from a referee who is of some social standing,” said Deputy Investment Promotions Minister Eran Wickremeratne.

“Today to become a candidate in the parliamentary elections none of that is required.”
 
Parliamentary elections are set for August 17.

Wickremeratne said voters should vote only for candidates who are honest, educated and have the required experience to serve them.

“If that criteria was followed 80 percent of candidates would not have been given nominations,” he told a news conference. 

Since most of the candidates are already parliamentarians they should have declared their assets according to the law.

“Ask them to publish their assets,” Wickremeratne said. “See what their assets were at the time of the 1994 and 2010 parliamentary elections, and what they are today, so that voters can compare.

“Voters can then see how a parliamentarian with a monthly salary of 54,000 rupees could have got the vehicles and properties they have today.”

Wickremeratne also said voters should not chose candidates who are parochial and whose thinking is confined to their village or community.

“Voters should vote for candidates who are national-minded and can think on a national scale.
(Colombo/July 14, 2015)
 

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