Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday that if any candidate contesting the LG polls, uses a place of religious worship for his election propaganda work, not only the candidate but the one in charge of the place of worship was liable for prosecution and a 7-year term of imprisonment under election laws.
"Displaying posters, cutouts and banners of candidates other than at his or her election office and at a venue of a rally is not a right but a courtesy extended to candidates and that all propaganda material have to be removed by 12.00 midnight on February 7," he said.
Mr. Deshapriya told the media that special arrangements had been made to check the qualifications of candidates contesting the local government polls and that three unqualified candidates had been identified so far.
“One candidate has his name in two electoral lists, another has served the same LG body to which he is contesting for and other candidate is below 18 years of age. As such they will not be eligible to contest the elections and the reasons for disqualification have been conveyed to them,” he said. "The EC is conducting inquires to identify whether any of the candidates been convicted of some crime and had served jail terms. A person once convicted can contest an LG poll only seven years after the conviction.However, those who have been fined or given suspended sentences will not be disqualified."
Mr. Deshapriya said a meeting of party representatives would be held on January 8, 9 and 10 and pointed out that disqualified candidates among the 8,356 contesting the LG polls could be identified at this meeting. (Sandun A Jayasekera)