NPC polls: UPFA to take up polls monitors’ conduct with Deshapriya


By Shamindra Ferdinando 

Premjayantha addressing the media at SLFP headquarters. Maithripala Sirisena looks on(Pic by Kamal Bogoda)

UPFA General Secretary and Environment and Sustainable Energy Minister Susil Premjayantha deplored the conducted of some local election monitors at the recently concluded first Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election.

Minister Premjayantha alleged that some election monitors had been partial and therefore the need to take it up with Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya had arisen.

The polls chief allowed both local and foreign monitors in response to a request from political parties. The UPFA spokesman said that the coalition didn’t see any problem with the operation carried out by foreign observers.Addressing the media at the SLFP headquarters last Friday afternoon, Premjayantha said that he would write to EC Deshapriya once he obtained the required reports, pertaining to the conduct of polls monitors, from the Northern Province.

Premjayantha alleged that those assigned for monitoring the northern polls had conveniently turned a blind eye to what was happening there. Responding to a query, the Colombo District MP claimed that the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora worked silently for the victory of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) at the Sept. 21 polls.

The minister said that those backing the TNA extensively used SMS to influence the northern electorate. A smiling Premjayantha said that not even United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Navi Pillay, could interfere with the Diaspora project to help the ITAK win the election.

The ITAK comfortably won all 14 electorates in the northern districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Mannar. The ITAK secured 30 seats, including two bonus slots, while the remaining eight seats were shared by the UPFA (7) and the SLMC (1).

Responding to allegations that the army had interfered with the election process, and campaigned for the UPFA, particularly in the Jaffna peninsula, Premjayantha pointed out the ITAK had secured the NPC therefore, there couldn’t be any basis for complaints against the army. He said that those who couldn’t stomach Sri Lanka’s victory over terrorism were propagating lies.

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