Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) states that the two main political parties are neglecting experienced local politicians, who have been leading youth and women's groups and party trade unions, in giving nominations for the coming provincial council elections for Western and Southern provinces and filling their nomination lists with 'sex symbols.'
The two main political parties are increasingly neglecting individuals who have been active in grassroots and strengthening the party and focusing on popular new comers. CaFFE adds that recent examples have shown that most of these 'stars,' who have no political experience and discipline, fielded by the opposition have crossed-over for personal gain and that the continuous endeavors of the main political parties to promote such stars are impeding the political futures of men and women who have sacrificed the best years of their lives for politics.
The main political parties have commenced interviews to select candidates for each district. Reports have revealed that a large number of regional politicians with years of experience behind them have been neglected in favor of 'sex symbols.' Sri Lankan politics have a dearth of strong female politicians and the current actions of main political parties, promoting movie stars and beauty queens without political experience and knowledge over female political activists with years of experience, have ensured that this will continue into the foreseeable future. A look at the recent past has shown that such stars have a habit of changing political parties for personal gain and making a mockery of representative democracy by commencing much publicized petty disputes with other provincial politicians. These individuals have contributed to the increasing loss of respect to politicians among the voters which has an adverse effect on peoples faith in representative democracy.
Provincial council elections are a gateway for talented regional politicians to enter mainstream politics. By limiting individuals with political experience and potential from entering provincial councils and by promoting sex symbols who will further erode people's belief in representative democracy the two main political parties are destroying the foundations of democracy. They are also destroying and/or delaying the emergence of the next generation of political leaders who will govern the country in the coming decades. CaFFE urges all political parties and independent groups to disengage from petty politics by promoting 'sex symbols' for short term gain and encourage the emergence of political leaders who are politically knowledgeable, disciplined and experienced.
Media Unit – CaFFE
January 22, 2014.