Election Chief to meet party secretaries

Political party secretaries have been invited by Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake to a special meeting at his office tomorrow (July 14) for a discussion on ensuring free and fair elections in the NCP and Sabaragamuwa.

The new IGP Mr. Jayantha Wickremaratne, together with DIG Elections Gamini Navaratne and the DIGs of the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Ranges, Upali Hewage and K.P.P. Pathirana, have also been requested to be present at this meeting.

"This is part of the effort to initiate several meaningful steps to ensure better elections," a senior official said.

Additional Commissioner of Elections (Provincial and Local) W.P. Sumanasiri confirmed yesterday that the Elections Commissioner had called for this meeting.

The polls chief has issued instructions to the GAs at Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Ratnapura and Kegalle, who are the returning officers of these elections, to seek police assistance where necessary to remove prohibited propaganda material including posters, cutouts, banners, etc. displayed on main roads, government buildings and state lands.

He said such propaganda displays were in violation of Provincial Councils Elections Act of 1988.

The law permits the display of propaganda material at the venue of election meetings and on a vehicle conveying a candidate where his/her party flag or symbol may be displayed. All propaganda displays at meeting places must be removed at the conclusion of the meeting.

Applications for postal voting closed on July 10 and these are now being processed by Assistant Elections Commissioners in the four districts.

These elections will be held on the basis of the 2007 electoral register. Polling cards carrying the National ID card numbers will be sent to eligible voters.

Voters will be required to carry their National ID cards or forward acceptable evidence to establish the identity to be eligible to vote.

Those without valid ID cards must apply to the District Assistant Elections Commissioners for a special form which they must fill to be certified by the Assistant Commissioner and submit such forms to the local Grama Niladari to obtain a special ID card that will enable them to vote at the elections.

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