Reduction in election related incidents this time -PAFFREL | Daily News


Reduction in election related incidents this time -PAFFREL

People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said there has been a decrease in the number of election law violations comparing with the last Presidential Election held in 2015.

He said this can be considered as a plus point and a move towards an advanced election culture.

He made these remarks while addressing the media yesterday in Colombo on the pre-election situations and issuing PAFFREL’s second media report on the Presidential Election.

However Hettiarachchi said that there are complaints relating to misuse of state properties and resources during the pre-election period. PAFFREL received 130 complaints relating to misuse of state resources, use of state vehicles for election campaigning, influencing state officers, appointments, transfers and promotions of state officers, use of state and security officers for politics. Of those complaints only 69 have been confirmed. The number relating to above offenses in 2015, was 194 and of those 156 were confirmed.

“It is a significant feature in this election too, the misuse of state power and resources for propaganda activities of candidates. Since the announcement of the election and up to now, there are 130 incidents of misuse of state power and resources have been reported and, 69 of them have been confirmed. There are 39 incidents of distribution of state reliefs in view of the election have been reported, and 27 of them have been confirmed. However, there has been a decline no of misuse of state power and resources as at now in this election when compared with the similar period of the Presidential Election of 2015. It was the accusation towards a single party during the Presidential Election of 2015, but now that accusation has been shared by two main political parties. Insofar the main and serious accusations are towards the central government” Hettiarachchi said.

While concerning on the nature of the complaints of misuse of state power the majority of complaints (i.e. 18 complaints) of misuse of resources in the Provincial Councils were against Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, and 4 of them were against the United National Party.

There are 34 complaints on illegal appointments, 13 complaints on transfers, and 5 complaints of promotions during this period. These are no of complaints and each complaint can consist of 1000 illegal appointments. It is the same with other types of complaints. All these complaints are against for the central government, as well as against the provincial councils.

Speaking on the postal voting he said that in accordance with their monitoring the postal voting has been conducted peacefully throughout the Island as there were no major incidents reported.

There were 717,918 applications in total for the postal voting for this Presidential Election. Of them 58,601 applications had been rejected due to incompleteness and other reasons, and only 659,306 applications were qualified for the actual voting.

PAFFREL deployed around 1000 Postal Voting Observers throughout the Island in selected centres and in particular politically sensitive centres.

Hettiarachchi said the Elections Commision Chairman should pay an attention on 58,601 applications which were rejected and to take action to minimise the number.

“It is noted that some of them were rejected due to the incompleteness and some were due the late delivery. It is our observation that the negligence of some of the heads of the organisations was a reason for some rejections. Therefore, it is the duty of the Election Commission to take action against those officials for their negligence,” he noted. Talking to media on the media conduct he said that certain media especially television channels are criticised by people for partiality.

“We have been observing the behaviour of media institutions during this election period, and it is a clear fact that all TV channels have been criticised by the public for their approach on the Presidential Election.

Hettiarachchi said PAFFREL would work for strengthening the process of free and fair election. Accordingly the PAFFREL would meet Election Commission to discuss the ways of improving the election process.

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