UNP urges EC not to gazette NWPC Poll results

* Marked ballot papers found at counting center

by Zacki Jabbar

Amidst continuing public protests over the discovery of three bags full of marked ballot papers at a counting center in Puttalam on Tuesday,the UNP yesterday urged the Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya, not to gazette the results of the North Western Provincial Council Election(NWPC) that was held last Saturday.

General Secretary of the UNP,Tissa Attanayake said that since the matter was now before court,it was best that the NWPC result not be given the official stamp, until there was a judicial ruling.

In a communication to the Polls Chief, the UNP General Secretary has pointed out that the discovery of three bags full of marked ballot papers at the counting center situated in St. Andrew’s Central College,Puttalam three days after the NWPC Poll had concluded, was a serious matter and could be only the tip of the iceberg.As such it was only prudent that the results are not gazetted until Court clears the way.

Every vote counted under the present electoral system,he said while noting that the UPFA’s performance in the NWP had dropped in comparison to the last election.

The excuse trotted out by some election officials that the ballot papers had been counted and then left behind by mistake was not tenable.Such huge objects canno’t go unnoticed and a thorough inquiry was necessary to establish the truth,he noted.

"Our critics should at least now stop calling us names, for stating that the elections were not free and fair",he said adding that the entire government machinery was used to blatantly violate the laws and hammer the Opposition in every possible manner.

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