Elections Commission (EC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday the commission expected to deploy at least one health officer to each polling station and a team of officials to monitor a cluster of polling stations at the forthcoming parliamentary election. He told Daily Mirror the EC would authorise them to vote by post.
“After the Supreme Court (SC) delivers its ruling on the eight FR petitions and 15 intervening petitions, the EC expects to hold the election as early as possible in keeping with strict guidelines issued by health and security authorities. COVID-19 and the curfew that followed disrupted our plans for a free and fair election. That is why we had to change our decisions, alter the dates for postal voting, polling day and other functions related to the parliamentary election. Allocating numbers to candidates, registration of all postal voters and fixing the polling date will have to be decided only after the SC delivers its ruling.
“However, preliminary work not directly affected by the SC ruling including collecting data on polling stations, number of public and health officers to be deployed and postal voting will continue,” he said.
Commenting on voter registration, he said the relevant gazette notification was issued yesterday. “However, there will be no delay in the process despite the fact that the EC had to confront a number of setbacks,” he said.(Sandun A. Jayasekera)