Fully satisfied with election
- Results tabulated by ColomboUniversity Computer Service
- Personally verified computer result with manual tally
- Never held at gun point
- Any aggrieved party could appeal to Supreme Court
- Counting carried out with transparency
Picture by Sumanachandra Ariyawansa
Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake yesterday said that he
is fully satisfied with the recent Presidential Election including
polling, counting procedure and tabulated results.
The Commissioner addr- essing a media briefing held yesterday at the
Election Secretariat said that there was no basis to annul the result of
any polling station, thus scotching rumours of alleged irregularities.
“Anyone who is not satisfied or harbours a grievance with the final
result of the Presidential Election, the proper action to follow is to
go before the Supreme Court with an Election Petition within 21 days
from the date of the poll.”
The Elections Commissioner said he took all possible steps to provide
IDPs in welfare villages with facilities to cast their votes without any
However, he said he was not happy with the way certain activities
were conducted by political parties during the election campaign period.
“There were large cut-outs, posters seen everywhere. However within two
weeks these were removed as far as possible with the help of the
police,” he added. “However during the polling day everything was calm.
People went and cast their votes and the turnout were around was 75
percent”. He said counting commenced in the evening after all the ballot
boxes arrived at the counting centres, the Commissioner added.
The Commissioner said representatives of all political parties
accompanied the ballot boxes to the counting centres. The first stage of
the counting was to verify the number of votes in the ballot box.
Thereafter this was cross checked with the Senior Presiding Officer’s
tally of the ballot. Once this was over all the ballot papers were mixed
up and the sorting commenced. Once it was sorted according to the
candidate, the ballot papers were separated into bundles of 50.
He said the bundles were checked, rechecked and there was a super
check followed by a random check. Thereafter the result of each counting
centre was prepared along with six carbon copies. The first copy was
sent to the Returning Officer for issuing the result.
The second copy was given to the representative of the winner at the
particular counting centre. The third copy was given to the agent of the
candidate who obtained next highest vote and the fourth was given to the
candidate who was placed third.
The fifth copy was displayed inside the counting centre and the last
copy was attached to the Counting Officer’s journal.
Since all the detailed result were made available unlike the previous
occasions, the process was foolproof and transparent, he said.
Dissanayake said there were rumours that he was under house arrest and
that he was signing documents at gunpoint while the results were being
relayed which is completely false.
The Commissioner said the result was published with help of the UCSC
which is the Faculty of Computing of the University of Colombo.
He said the same personnel were involved in the tabulating of results
by computer from 1981 upto date barring its pioneer the late Professor
V. K. Samaranayake.
“I have complete trust in the UCSC and can say that none of the UCSC
staff manipulated the result. To be satisfied with the result which had
been disseminated to the electronic and print media, mobile services
operators too were sent the results through the data communication
links. A scanned document of the final result signed by him was sent to
all media institutions. He said that both a manual and a computer count
was carried out and both sheets were verified by him personally.
Polls Chief to stay
Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake told the media yesterday
that he has decided to stay in office till the upcoming General Election
He added that this decision was based on the facts including the need
to face any future court case in connection with the Presidential
election, after considering appeals made by his staff and the NDF
Presidential candidate of the Opposition parties.
Dissanayake denied claims that he was unable to control some ballot
boxes in certain areas. Asked about suspicious unauthorized persons
coming into the Election Secretariat the following morning, he named
some personnel who visited him as Lal Perera, Lal Manamendra and
Sharmila Perera among them. “They visited me even after 4.30 a.m. the
Referring to an information placed before him about the recent ballot
papers found in Ratnapura area, Dissanayake said that he cannot make any
comment on it before making an inquiry.
He said that he is very disappointed about the way of passing the
17th Amendment to the Constitution limiting debating time in Parliament
to only 11 hours. Some provisions to control media had been removed to
allow loopholes to remain to give their personal political agenda to the
media by different political parties, he said.