Polls monitor says complaints about harassment of female candidates flooding in


By Rathindra Kuruwita

Complaints of harassment at various stages of electioneering were flooding in, a spokesperson for Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) said, adding that the organization would meet with the Elections Commission to expedite various police investigations on those incidents.

"A number of female candidates, especially from the Estate Sector and the East have been harassed and the police investigations against the perpetrators are slow. Moreover the female candidates claim that the political parties they represent have not assisted them," Surangi Ariyawansha, head of monitoring violence against women at CaFFE said.

Ariyawansha said that most of the female candidates had not received any training from the political parties they represented, thus for the most part they were not aware about what was needed to be done when faced with political violence.

"There has virtually been no training from the parties and some people have been trained by NGOs, including us. And most of the people only realized that they can take action against the harassment they faced only after we contacted them after the election,"she said.

Ariyawansha also said that violence against defeated female candidates in the aftermath of the recently concluded election continued. However given the current political climate little attention had been paid to them.

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