With the increase in number of candidates, expenses have increased dramatically
- A large number of these candidates did not contest any of the Presidential Polls in the past in SL
By Sandun A. Jayasekera and Ranjan Kasturi
The National Elections Commission (NEC) will have to incur an additional one billion rupees for election expenses as the number of candidates for the Presidential Poll has been increased dramatically, NEC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday.
Another significant feature of this Presidential Election was that the President, Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition who are in power are not contesting this election.
Mr. Deshapriya told media at his office last morning that the initial estimates of the Presidential poll expenses stood around Rs. four billion but with the increase of candidates, it is expected to rise to Rs. five billion.
He predicted that the number of presidential candidates would further increase by the time the accepting of nominations close on Monday (7) morning and added that a large number of these candidates did not contest any of the Presidential Polls in the past in Sri Lanka.
“The number of election officials, additional expenses and other overheads have to be increased with the rise in the number of candidates at this election. We will have to find bigger buildings, set up more counting centres and recruit a large number of public officials to deploy at polling centres and counting centeres,” Mr. Deshapriya said.