CaFFE to file election petitions against those winning bribe givers

Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) has warned candidates contesting February 10 local government election that they will file election petitions against those accused of distributing goods to secure votes.

Addressing a workshop to train female candidates contesting the elections in the Vavuniya District yesterday (12) CaFFE Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said distributing goods to secure votes might lead to their removal within six months of being elected.

"Most election petitions under the new system will be processed within six months and bribing the voters is an offence that can lead to the unseating of the cuplprits. Distributing goods to secure the votes of the people is a risky business. At previous elections it was only the candidates affiliated with the government that distributed goods, but now we see that candidates from several parties doing that. In this age, when vurtyakkt everyone has a camera phone, it is impossible to do anything without leaving evidence."

Tennakoon said CaFFE and other election monitors had received a number of complaints about the illegal distribution of goods and if those accused of such wrongs were elected to local councils and they would file legal action against the wrongdoers.

"An election petition will be processed within six months under the new system and errant candidates will lose their seats. So, we urge all candidates to abide by the law without taking unncessary risks.

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