The election monitoring NGOs in Sri Lanka expressed their concern and disagreement on the summoning of the Elections Commission (EC) by President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday.
The prominent NGO that monitors elections in Sri Lanka, the ‘Peoples Action for Free and Fair Elections’ (PAFFREL) voiced concern about the reported meeting of members of the EC with President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday and added it was unethical, unnecessary and unwarranted.
The Executive Director of the PAFFREL, Rohana Hetttiarachchi told Daily Mirror that no one expects the executive to meet EC members at a time when the EC is involved in holding an election.
“This should not have happened. I don’t understand as to why the executive must meet the EC members when they are busy with an election. The executive must not advice or he does not have the authority to consult or instruct the EC on its official duties as it is an independent body. The meeting gives a wrong signal to the effect that whether the executive was attempting to influence the EC on issues pertaining to the conduct of the LG polls. The meeting also undermines the independence of the EC,” Mr. Hettiarachci stressed.
Meanwhile, a collective of six election monitoring NGOs also expressed their concern and indignation yesterday over the covert attempts by the SLPP led government to postpone the LG election by sabotaging the EC.
They said the summoning of the EC members by the President was a clear attempt to influence the EC to differ the polls.
“The money is there. The EC has announced the nomination day and time frame to hold the polls. Not only the entire country but even the global community is keen on holding a free and fair LG election in Sri Lanka. In such a situation, the summoning of the EC by the President is extremely wrong, immoral and sets a bad precedence. There is no split at all among the members of the EC as well suggested by interested groups,” they emphasized.
Representatives of the Campaign For Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), National Elections Observation Committee (NEOC), Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), Institute of Democratic Reforms & Electoral Studies (IDRES) and Collective of Election Observers addressed the news briefing in addition to the PAFFREL.
Commenting further on election monitoring, Mr. Hettiarachchi said the PAFFREL will start deploying about 400 local observers from 15th (Sunday) to monitor the election at district level well in advance to the start of accepting nominations.
The NGO will deploy about 10,000 local and foreign observers to monitor the entire duration of the polls island wide. The PAFFREL is in touch with the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFEL) based in Bangkok, Thailand to obtain the services of a team of foreign observers and has held several rounds of talks successfully in this regard,” Mr. Hettiarachchi noted. (Sandun A Jayasekera)
Simple Saima Tuesday, 10 January 2023 08:11 AM
NGOs with political motives never really help us Sri Lankans. If the EC wants to be independent hive them a mechanism to earn their own money as well. Even sell lottery tickets and earn 10m or as needed for each election. then EC can hold their elections as and when they want.
Sena Tuesday, 10 January 2023 08:15 AM
Is China now backing opposition to disrupt pro US president and destabilise country again? A series of political upheavals with one election result forcing the next election until all elections are held early is not what the citizens want. We value and want to uphold democracy but not at any cost.
D P P Prasad Tuesday, 10 January 2023 08:55 AM
All kind of elections should be held on time respecting the democracy whichever party governs the country each party should obey the democracy.
Rosh SAMARATHUNGA Tuesday, 10 January 2023 09:59 PM
Unelected president always voiced about his existence for last 50 years and counting. Hopefully no one will vote for him. So he can stay at home and master debate himself to become immortal
Volker Metzger Wednesday, 11 January 2023 10:52 AM
The behavior of Ranil and the illegal "covert" and overt actions taking place throughout the country to deliberately influence the elections in their favor shows once again the true character of this government, which is opposed by the majority of Sri Lankans! They know that they do not own the hearts of the people (like the SLPP general secretary claims !) and that if the elections are conducted correctly, they will lose disastrously and try with all means to prevent this! The Rajapaksas and the SLPP are well versed in election manipulation! The NGO's need the highest level of vigilance in controlling the election process so that the referendum actually reflects the reality in the country! This is the only way to serve democracy in Sri Lanka!
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