CMEV, PAFFREL urge support for campaign funding law | Daily News


Call for separate election petition court

CMEV, PAFFREL urge support for campaign funding law

The country’s two established election monitors, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) and People’s Action For Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) yesterday stressed the need of a separate court for election petitions and for regulation of campaign funding.

CMEV national coordinator Manjula Gajanayake told news media yesterday that the Elections Commission has drafted a Bill concerning regulation of campaign funding and that it has been approved by the Legal Draftsman and directed to the Attorney General now.“The most important aspect is the positive response of MPs and political party leaders to enact this important piece of legislation. However we did not see such proactive measures being taken by those stakeholders,” he added. The CMEV and PAFFREL have submitted a memorandum to the Government and the Elections Commission urging support for a law to regulate campaign finances.

The CMEV will conduct an islandwide baseline research on the expenses of political parties and candidates during the presidential election campaign period. “Electronic and print media advertisements, hoardings, huge catering service bills to treat supporters, expenses for party rallies, transport including CTB and Air Force will be main components of this baseline,” Gajanayake added.

The Election Commission has revealed the expenses of the last presidential elections as Rs.715 million in 2005, Rs.1,856 million in 2010, Rs.2,7016 million in 2015 and the Election Commission predicts Rs.4,000 million in the 2020 presidential election which will be the highest cost recorded in the history.

PAFFREL Executive director Rohana Hettiarachchi also highlighted the fact that if both the presidential election and the provincial council elections were to be held together Rs.2000 million can be saved according to the Election Commission. He also expressed his ideas regarding the continues delay of holding the provincial council elections. “Major political parties were in slumber when the Elections Commission was stressing the need of Provincial Council elections. It is learnt that the President has sought a Supreme Court verdict on this deadlock. Therefore SC will be giving their decision on August 23,” he said.

“Our view is that while supporting the proactive measures taken by EC, there should be a proper mechanism to hold both elections in a very close time period. The results of the Provincial Council elections will affect the decision of Presidential election too. We hope that Supreme Court will consider all relevant matters when they make their decision,” he added.

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