People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) said today that a Local Government election candidate contesting in the Southern province has provided Rs.1,000 and a lunch packet to people in the area to win their support at the upcoming election.
PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said election candidates should refrain from committing such blatant election violations and that they should adhere to the regulations put forward by the Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya.
“The most amount of election violence that has taken place so far has been due to the influence of ministers, parliamentarians and provincial members and not entirely because of the local politicians,” Hettiarachchi said.
He said some candidates spend over Rs.1 million for a day’s election propaganda although when elected they earn a meager salary of Rs.5,000 a month. “These violations should be stopped. The Election Commissioner issues guidelines to the candidates and national politicians on a daily basis, sometimes sending about 15 letters almost on a regular basis. However they continue to ignore the Elections Commissioner’s guidelines and do as they wish,” he said.
There have so far been 60 reported incidents of election violence in local government areas where elections are to be held. The highest numbers of election violence are reportedly in the Kolonnawa Urban Council area where there was one shooting incident and two shooting incidents reported in Kotikawatta.
He said there has been a misuse of government vehicles, buildings, recruitments and promotions which are not permitted. The use of posters, cut outs and banners has also been high but relatively less in Colombo as the putting up of posters and other election propaganda is not permitted within Colombo city limits.
“If they can prevent election propaganda in Colombo then it can also easily be controlled in other parts of the country as well. Politicians should take action to control this situation,” he said. (Olindhi Jayasundere)
Calistus Jayatilleke Wednesday, 28 September 2011 01:41 PM
Spending one million rupees a day to get a job which pays only Rs.5000.- per month! They are not stupid : they know the 5000 smackers is just pocket money for a day and there is enough money to be made by way of awarding contracts and commissions once elected to office. Actually, the money spent on election work is a wortwhile investment for the future.
Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.