GOOD MORNING MR PRESIDENT

Monday, May 21, 2018

Mr. President, we wish to once again congratulate your government for successfully completing the election cycle without any major hitches.

We also take this opportunity to congratulate the United Democratic Party (UDP) for the landslide victory in the just concluded mayoral/chairperson elections, capturing all but one of the eight contested seats.

However, your Excellency, an analysis of the results of the mayoral/chairperson elections once again shows quite an urgent need for electoral reforms. Apart from the extremely low turnout, which should be of concern to your government, the results did not accurately reflect the number of votes cast for the various parties and candidates. Looking at the results, one would see that even though the UDP won all but one of the seats, the party actually obtained less than 50 per cent of the votes cast. Out of the 257, 359 that cast their votes, the UDP obtained 121,653, less than half of the total votes cast.

Therefore, Your Excellency, the results are not reflective of the reality on the ground, hence the need for electoral reforms. For instance, out of the eight elected mayors/chairpersons, only three (NBR, LRR and URR) obtained slightly more than 50 percent of the vote; all the others represent the minority in their municipalities/councils.

There is need, therefore for radical reforms of our electoral system so that those elected represent a majority of the electorate. There is, for instance, need for a second round of voting to ensure that the winner of any election obtains more than 50 percent of the vote cast, and there also needs to be proportional representation so that political parties get the number of seats compatible with the number of votes they get.

Mr. President there is a need to get new electoral list to eliminate ghost voters who are foreigners who used to vote. Government should combine presidential and National Assembly elections the same day and Council and mayoral elections the same day to avoid voter apathy and financial cost. To be elected president, you must get 51% and serve two terms, each term five years.

Have a very good day, Your Excellency