EC stands to hold elections - Elections Commissioner General | Daily News


EC stands to hold elections - Elections Commissioner General

Chamikara Weerasinghe

Commissioner General of Elections Saman Sri Rathnayake Wednesday told the Daily News that the Election Commission cannot cancel an election citing public health crises.

"It cannot entertain such requests from NGOs or representatives from other organisations, including members of political parties who find it convenient to ask the Commission to take such actions," he said.

Rathnayake was responding to our question as to whether the Commission had taken cognisance of a number of recent calls for the postponement of elections over Covid-19 pandemic by some politicians and the election monitoring NGO, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV).

The three members of the Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya and members of the Commission, N.J. Abeysekera and Rathnajeevan S Hoole, know their jobs with respect to holding elections, and the field of polls, he assured.

“The Elections Commission will decide how it should move forward with the 2020 Parliamentary Election to be held on April 25,” he said.

“The Commission has received over 75 nominations from independent groups and over 44 nominations from recognized political parties as of Tuesday,” he said.

“People who are now campaigning for the postponement of the election over the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming that it has an impact on the rights of voters to freely exercise their vote, may also criticize the Commission for depriving people of their right to exercise their right to vote through the same crises,” he said.

“The Election Commission does not function to cater to the opinions of organisations and individuals. It will function within its mandate to hold the election, because the Commission stands for holding elections," he added.

“The Commission cannot prolong elections, and allow the country to function without a Parliament. What I do not understand here is why these groups always seem to look up for the Commission to ask the President to cancel the election when they themselves can submit such requests,” he asked.


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