ANFREL deploys election monitors for five districts | Daily News

ANFREL deploys election monitors for five districts

The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) has deployed six assessment team members to the Kurunegala, Polonnaruwa, Jaffna, Trincomalee and Nuwara Eliya Districts to monitor polling and counting.

The ANFREL said in a release yesterday that ANFREL will be conducting an assessment of the Elections through an innovative methodology. The assessment report to be released at August end will cover Sri Lanka’s experience in holding a General Election amidst a pandemic, and identify lessons to be learned from it.

 We hope it will prove valuable to other countries that are preparing to hold elections in the months or years ahead,” the statement said.

“As always, ANFREL’s methodology will adhere to international standards set forth in documents such as the Bangkok Declaration on Free and Fair Elections, the Dili Indicators on Free and Fair Elections, and the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation,” it added.

“On August 5, over 16 million Sri Lankan voters are invited to cast their ballots in South Asia’s first major elections since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially scheduled for April 25, the polls had to be postponed twice. On the eve of this exercise in democracy, ANFREL reminds eligible voters who exercise their franchise rights to wear a face mask, wash their hands, and practice social distancing as they do so, in accordance with the guidelines issued by health authorities,” the statement added.

“We recognise the extraordinary steps taken by the Election Commission of Sri Lanka to ensure the parliamentary elections would take place in the safest conditions possible in the 12,985 polling stations set up nationwide. Confident in the security measures to be implemented, the Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya declared that a polling station would be ‘the safest public space’ and invited voters not to be afraid. We also wish to commend the contributions of the country’s health authorities, security forces, media, and civil society working together to promote a safe, peaceful, and transparent voting environment for all,” it noted.

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