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Polls chief in a bid to avoid malpractices

Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake, in a move to avoid any malpractices, yesterday instructed his officials to dispatch to each of the 67,129 postal voters, individual letters to their home address informing him/her that they are eligible to vote, additional Commissioner of Elections (Provincial and Local) W. P. Sumanasiri said yesterday.

Sumanasiri said that all the Postal voting packets were handed over to the Postal authorities yesterday so that Postal voters could mark their votes before the certifying officers on February (2 and 3), 2009 .

Post Master General (PMG) M. K. B. Dissanayake said that postal authorities had accepted the insured Postal voting packets up to 4.00 p.m yesterday and would deliver them to the respective certifying officers during the next few days.

He said that though February 2 and 3 were declared officially as marking days for postal votes the postal authorities gave time up to 4.00 p.m. on February (14) for a postal voter to mark his/her votes and if granted reasonable notice they were willing to go in a vehicle several miles to accept at least a single vote.

Senior SLAS official and advisor to the Elections Secretariat Bandula Kulatunga said that for the second time following the closing of Nominations the Commissioner of elections had invited the Secretaries of Political Parties for a meeting at the Election Secretariat on January 23 at 3.00 p.m.

He said that this meeting was convened by the Commissioner of Elections for the parties to air their grievances and listen to new security measures that he was compelled to put in place so that the expectations of Civil society for a much freer and fair elections could be met.

Additional Commissioner Sumanasiri said that all Polling cards would be handed to the Postal authorities on January (26) with a Special delivery taking place on February 1, 2009 so that the Provincial Elections could be held as scheduled on February 14.

Assistant Commissioner of Elections for the Mahanuwara district U. Amaradasa said that 17,784 Postal voters were eligible to vote.

Assistant Commissioner of Elections for the Matale district G. D. N. de Silva said that 9,623 Postal voters were eligible to cast their votes.

Assistant Commissioner of Elections for the Nuwara Eliya District Samson Sri Ratnayake said that 5,592 Postal voters were eligible to cast their votes.

Assistant Commissioner of elections for the District of Puttalam A. O. M. Nafeel said that 4,625 Postal Voters were eligible to cast their votes.

The Assistant Commissioner of elections for the District of Kurunegala R. N. A. L. Ratnayake said that 29,505 Postal Voters were eligible to cast their votes.

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