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 increased dramatically, NEC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said today.
Another significant feature of this presidential election was that the President, Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition who is 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 acceptance of nominations close on Monday (7) morning and added that a large number of these candidates have not contested 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 centres,” Mr. Deshapriya said. (Sandun A. Jayasekera and Ranjan Kasturi)