Polls Chief tells IGP how to defuse tension in East
Amidst rivalry amongst supporters of two Cabinet MinistersAugust 18, 2012, 7:31 pm
By Franklin R. Satyapalan
Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has advised IGP N. K. Illangakoon on strategic measures that should be adopted in the face of rivalry amongst supporters of two Cabinet Ministers, SLMC Leader and Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem and National Congress Leader and Local Government Minister A. L. M. Athaullah in the Ampara district.
Elections to the Sabaragamuwa, North Central and Eastern Provincial councils are scheduled for September 8.
Though more stringent action can be taken towards preventing the misuse of state resources for elections, the actions of the Elections Commissioner, poll monitors PAFFREL, the Police and the government itself towards ensuring a free and fair election, have come in for praise from the public, Civil Organization said.
Deshapriya yesterday assured that he had taken special care to curb malpractices by detailing over one thousand Assistant Presiding Officers (ASO’s) as observers at every postal vote marking center, including the Security Forces detachments in the Northern region and Civil Defense Force (CDF ) camps in the North Central Region.
Additional Commissioner of Elections (Provincial and Local) R. N. A. L. Ratnayake said that following the handing over of polling cards to the postal authorities on Friday, the delivery would continue until Thursday, August 30 with voters being asked to be at home on Sunday the ( (26) when the special delivery takes place.
Meanwhile, the Elections Commissioner has invited political party Secretaries to be present at a crucial meeting on Wednesday to advise them on restricting the number of their party activists who may engage in house-to -house campaigning in the seven districts where the elections would be held to minimize confrontations.
The Commissioner is also expected to brief the Secretaries on the strategy he intends putting in place to allay their fears and meet the expectations of civil society that fraudulent acts or any type of pressure is not brought to bear on postal voters when they mark their ballots on Monday (26) and Tuesday (28).
The Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi also yesterday welcomed some of the good measures taken this time by the Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya with the Police implementing his decisions had contributed to the marked drop in Election violence this time and one could only hope and" say so far so good ."
Additional Commissioner of Elections (Provincial and Local) R. N. A. L. Ratnayake said that the 100,788 postal voting packets would be handed over to the postal authorities tomorrow so that there is adequate time for delivery to the Marking Centers as postal voting will take place on August 27 and 28.
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