People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) has written to the Chairman of the Election Commission today urging to take relevant actions to stop giving permanency to the services of the staff attached to ministers and the President’s personal staff.
PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said that usually, the tradition has been that the personnel staff to the President and ministers have been suspended after the dissolution of the government or attached to their previous workplaces.
“The appointment of these staff was given top priority by political loyalties. Accordingly, giving permanency to such persons using political power is against the tradition and also a clear violation of election laws,” he said.
“We urge you to look into the matter and take appropriate action to stop giving permanency to those staff,” he told the Election Commissioner in a letter.
It was reported that two separate cabinet papers have been submitted seeking approval to give permanency to the services of the staff attached to ministers, non-cabinet ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers and the President’s personal staff.
The cabinet papers were submitted by President Maithripala Sirisena and Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena.
Home Affairs Minister Abeywardena reportedly has sought approval to make permanent the services of the staff of all ministers.
Each of the ministers including the deputies has a staff of about 10 members.
The staff includes five management assistants and five persons, including media secretaries.