Countrywide postal voting generally peaceful: PAFFREL | Daily News

Countrywide postal voting generally peaceful: PAFFREL

PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi addressing the meeting. Picture by Saman Sri Wedage.
PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi addressing the meeting. Picture by Saman Sri Wedage.

People’s Action For Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) observed that postal voting all around the country was generally peaceful and added that they have assigned 7,000 volunteers to observe the upcoming election process.

PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said even though the postal voting was generally peaceful compared to the previous elections, a few instances of canvassing for votes, campaigning close to booths, photographing voters in queues, and the non-registration of voters for postal voting in certain government departments were reported.

Addressing the media at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) in Colombo, yesterday, Hettiarachi said that there is an increase in the level of violence in the past week and most of them being due to violation of election laws.

He said that 19 cases of hospitalization have also been reported and added that the majority of the violence has been reported from the Polonnaruwa district, while the least number was reported from the Kilinochchi district.

PAFFREL National Coordinator Sujeewa Gayanath said 7,000 well-trained and well-equipped PAFFERAL volunteers are currently in place as its officials observers for the forthcoming local government elections. He added that among them, 1,000 were in service during the postal voting at different points and another 4,000 would be placed at election booths, while over 1,500 would function as mobile observers using 350 vehicles to visit areas, where the voting takes place.

In the meantime, PAFFREL commended the efforts of the police, Election Commission, and all political parties for being able to minimize the extent of violence during the past few weeks. Hettiarachchi said they deplore violence against female candidates.

“Even though a 25-percent quota was awarded for women by election law, party organizers of electoral seats are accused of ignoring talented women and nominating only those whom they favoured, while some women have been cheated by denying the promises previously given to them,” he said. He added that all together, 15 cases of violence against women candidates were reported. 



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