Call for immediate end to conflict situation within EC | Daily News
To ensure free and fair Local Government Elections:

Call for immediate end to conflict situation within EC

Sri Lanka Elections Observation National Center Executive Director S.B. Herath yesterday said that the conflict situation within the Election Commission which is apparent to the public, be ended immediately, to ensure holding of this time’s Local Government Elections in a free and fair manner.

“We believe that relations with institutions with which there have to be connections in order to hold the elections should be maintained without any conflicts.

"One member of the Elections Commission has resigned as of now and the media says the reason is the actions of the Chairman of the Commission,” he said.

Herath in a statement said that it is also known that two other members of the Election Commission do not come to the office and do not attend any meetings.

“In the meantime, it is also known that no Gazette Notification has been issued as yet declaring the date of the elections and that a majority of members of the Election Commission have not signed this announcement,” he said.

He said that the Centre strongly believes that in addition to holding a free and fair election, its legal validity is also of immense importance.

“The  Elections Expenses Regulation Act has been sent to the Speaker in order to get it passed in Parliament. It will be only after the Speaker certifies it that it will be possible to know about the amendments added to the Act, during the Committee Stage and any action can be taken in connection with those. While the situation was thus, the Elections Commission declaring that it was based on this Act had come to an agreement with political parties and this fact was publicized. Even so, it is not formal to take measures indicating that the Act will be implemented before the Speaker certifies it and we are extremely surprised by the urgency of the Election Commission to take such measures.

Mass media has published various reports to the effect that there are differences within the Elections Commission and that there is no quorum even to hold meetings and that some members of the commission do not even attend office.

This is a very unfortunate situation.

"This creates within the public, fear and strong distrust regarding the Local Government Elections. Therefore, we request the Elections Commission to act with transparency and accountability at all times. We also request that all information relevant to the Local Government Elections be publicized so that the people are aware of everything,".

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