Contesting elections in Sri Lanka set to become more expensive as Cabinet proposes increasing security deposits

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Contesting elections in Sri Lanka could become significantly more expensive for political parties and independent candidates as the Cabinet has proposed an increase in security deposit limits. The Cabinet this week noted that it is appropriate to update the existing security deposit limits according to the provisions of the President’s Election Act, Parliamentary Elections Act and the Provincial Councils Elections Act, timely in the current social, economic and political context.

For the presidential election, the security deposit for a candidate from a recognised political party has been raised from 75,000 Sri Lankan rupees to 2.6 million rupees while the security deposit for an independent candidate is to be raised from 50,000 Sri Lankan rupees to 3.1 million rupees. In parliamentary elections, the security deposit for a candidate from a recognised political party is to be raised from 2,000 Sri Lankan rupees to 11,000 rupees while the security deposit for an independent candidate is to be increased from 2,000 Sri Lankan rupees to 16,000 rupees.

Commenting on the proposed security deposit rate increases, the election monitoring groups said the changes might not come into force till the next elections as the necessary law enactments would take time. The next presidential election must be held between mid-September and mid-November this year while the parliamentary election is due only by August next year. The government said the legal draftsman has been advised to prepare a bill to amend the security deposit rates.

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