The Elections Commission (EC) has identified 13 presidential candidates who were in the fray merely to support either of the two main contenders, an official said yesterday.
In an interview with Daily Mirror, EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said his office mulled action against these candidates. “The commission noted seven candidates supporting one main candidate and six supporting the other,” he said.
When asked how these candidates canvassed for the main contenders, he said their authorised agents were seen on the stages of the main candidates. Besides, he said, the secretaries to political parties represented by these candidates addressed election rallies in support of either of the two main contestants.
“The increase in cash deposit required for contesting the election and denial of registration for parties doing so will serve as deterrents,” he said.
There are 35 contestants in the fray this time. Mr. Deshapriya said this had resulted in an unnecessary workload for the commission. “Ballot paper will be too long this time. We need additional ballot boxes,” he said. (Kelum Bandara)