Commissioner bars monitoring groups with political leanings
Elections monitoring groups with political party affiliations will
not be part of the polls monitoring process, Elections Commissioner
Mahinda Deshapriya said on Wednesday.
Addressing the media on the forthcoming elections to Eastern, North
Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils, the polls chief said he
would ensure such groups will not take part in the monitoring process.
Such groups will not be able to make an impartial assessment and
could be a hindrance to the independent polls observing process, he
The Commissioner also recalled several such experiences and said that
he had seen instances where faxes from the so-called independent
monitors coming from a political party office. The Polls Chief said that
he had given permission for five local election monitoring groups to
observe the conduct of polls at the upcoming elections.
Commenting on the counting of votes the Commissioner said that he was
considering allowing a civil group to monitor the process. "This could
comprise of professionals such as lawyers, media personal etc." he
However he said such a decision will only be taken after discussing
the matter with relevant all stake holders.
"If such a group is allowed to observe the counting of votes, it will
only be carried out under the supervision of an election department
official," he added. The counting of votes has being at the subject of
many a dispute at past elections with some candidates claiming foul play
after either getting defeated or not obtaining enough preference votes
to their expectation.