UNP wants EC to consider poorer candidates when imposing strictures

Committed to devolution within unitary state


by Zacki Jabbar

The UNP yesterday appealed to the Election Commissioner to consider the poorer candidates contesting the August 17 general election when imposing various strictures.

Chief UNP Organiser for the Kalutara District and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ajith P. Perera addressing a news conference in Colombo said that directives such as the use of one jeep per candidate should be relaxed, since it was practically not possible to comply with, under the current electoral system.

The law certainly needs to be applied but practicalities also had to be taken into account , he noted, adding that candidates with limited funds were struggling to make ends meet in view of the directive

that politicians who used state vehicles for electioneering would have to pay Rs.100,000 per vehicle monthly.

The Deputy Minister pointed out that the cost of election advertisements on the electronic media was exorbitant and that was another area the Polls Chief needed to look at, with a view to creating a level playing field.

Commenting on TNA calls for federal units in the North and East, Perera said that a UNP led United National Front for Good Governance would devolve power only within a unitary state.

"We welcome Ex-LTTE cadres entering mainstream politics. Many JVP cadres who had taken to arms, subsequently contested elections and were elected to Parliament. Those willing to reform should be encouraged and no direct or indirect obstacles placed in their way", Perera stressed.

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