- Informed political parties also to follow suit
- War does not belong to any political party
By Yohan Perera
National Elections Commission (NEC) yesterday said it was prohibited to use war and war-victory for the presidential election campaigns. “War does not belong to any political party but to the state. The state is the people. Therefore no party can use the war in the election campaign,” its Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said.
He said he had informed the political parties not to use war, war-victory and related activities for the presidential election campaigns.
He said his institution had called for explanation from the Secretary Ministry of Defence and from the President’s office on the advertisement published recently which had said Army Commander Shavendra Silva and several other senior army officers had pledged his support to SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa at this year’s presidential election.
Election Commission Chairman told a press conference that he had called for explanation from the defence Secretary and President’s office on the matter. He said state workers legally cannot engage in politics.
Also he said the army commander should make a clarification on the issue. “We feel that the Army Commander should make a statement on the issue. It’s been one week since the advertisement appeared on media. Therefore it is time he issues a statement and say whether he really supports a candidate or not,” the polls Chief said in this regard.
“It is illegal to exhibit a picture of an ex-military officer in election propaganda,” he also said.
The polls chief added that some state workers attend election rallies without applying leave.