Action to prevent malpractices
Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake proposed a series of
tough measures on the polling day to prevent malpractices at the
forthcoming Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provincial Council polls.
No person carrying firearms other than authorised security personnel
would be allowed within the premises of polling stations or counting
centres, he told a recent press briefing.
The personal security of any candidate, political leader, Minister
etc. should be left outside polling stations, the Commissioner said.
Dissanayake said in case of complaints, he would take strict action
according to the situation with the possible annulment of the result of
the polling station too being considered.
According to the Commissioner no person would be allowed to cast
their ballot without a valid proof of his or her identity.
If any voter does not possess ID documents termed as valid by
authorities they are advised to obtain a special ID issued by the Grama
Niladhari which would be counter signed by both the District Secretary
and Assistant Elections Commissioner of the area.
Plantation sector employees who do not possess a valid ID should
forward their applications through relevant heads of the estate sector,
the Commissioner said. In a novel move, election authorities decided to
include the National ID card numbers in the voter list to prevent
The Commissioner said the authorities would be advised to strictly
impose the no smoking rule within the premises where both voting and
counting would take place. No outsider other than nominated officials by
election authorities are to be allowed inside the polling stations.
He added that political parties would be allowed to paste a sticker
in the ballot boxes after sealing the box at the end of the voting
process. However the display of posters, banners or any other
promotional material within or outside the premises where voting is to
take place has been banned.
Each political party or group has been given two nominees each to
observe the voting process inside the polling station during the
election day in addition five nominees are to be allowed from each party
However political parties have been advised to nominate a person who
would be given authority to nominate polling booth agents before August
The Commissioner said only two election monitoring groups would be
allowed within the polling premises during the election day. They are
PAFFREL and CMEV and in addition CAFFE and Diriya foundation have been
given permission to continue as observers without entering the polling
Commenting on the subject of threats, intimidation and chasing away
of polling agents the Commissioner said that the process begins not at
polling stations but at the home where they are being urged to resign
voluntary by imposing the law of the jungle.
The Commissioner questioned the credibility of such politicians or
their supporters who come before voters professing democracy.
The Commissioner said according to experience of past elections in
Sri Lanka, authorities could expect a maximum 80 per cent voter turn out
“but if the number of votes cast exceeds this margin it might mean that
some where something has gone wrong”.
He said the power to implement the election law was vested with the
police and added that the IGP should ensure that this would carried out
to the letter.
The Commissioner said his Department had already given Rs. 2.5
million to police to remove banners and cut-outs and added that it was
the public which had to bare the burden even for such trivial matters.
In the case of any allegations over the conduct of election
officials, the Department would launch a thorough investigations and if
found guilty would impose stiff penalties, he said.
He also added that four official including an Assistant Elections
Commissioner found guilty of allegations of misdeeds had been expelled
from the Department recently.
He urged all Government officials to act impartially during the
election process and added that they were duty-bound by the people to
provide a viable service as they were paid employees of the masses.
He urged the civil society to join hands with authorities to conduct
a free and fair election and report any misdeeds to authorities without