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All stakeholders must discuss problematic issues for a poll – NCEMS

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The National Center for Election Monitoring of Sri Lanka (NCEMS) continued to urge the Election Commission to resolve the possible problematic situations related to the provision of funds for the Local Government Elections before it turns into a major crisis, through negotiations between the relevant factions. The NCEMS in a letter dated February 13, had warned that such a situation might arise and requested to hold a discussion between the Treasury, the Government and the Election Commission immediately.

If that proposal had been accepted, we believe that there would have been room for a favourable agreement to be reached on the holding of the local government elections instead of the complicated situation that exists today,” the NCEMS said in a release.

“Instead, what has arisen now threatening government officials and intimidating them and an attempt to achieve certain tasks through doing that.

Leaders of various political parties and some individuals involved in election activities as well as some election monitoring organizations are using social media networks, political meetings and press conferences to put a lot of pressure and even going as far as to mention the names of those officials”, the release said.

The organization expressed displeasure at the threats made by some political leaders to the President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake and other officials as well as to Government Printer Gangani Liyanage and Finance Ministry Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena.

“Gangani Liyanage is an honourable public official who has completed the printing of ballot papers and other printing tasks during past elections in accordance with election rules and regulations, in a very formal manner and on time.

We also emphasize that such threats and intimidation have an effect on holding a free and fair election and that there is a possibility of very negative effects on the election”, the statement said.

A fact that many have forgotten about is that Sri Lanka is as of now a bankrupt country. We should not forget that, within such a situation, the government has to totally spend on fulfilling the daily requirements of the people.

Therefore, we request that according to a specific time schedule, a programme to obtain the money required for the election is made through agreements between all parties and that an appropriate plan for holding the election be prepared immediately.



Friday, February 17, 2023 – 01:36

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