Elections Commissioner (EC) Mahinda Deshapriya has requested prospective candidates of the forthcoming Parliamentary polls to hand in their assets declaration forms along with their nominations.An Elections Dept official said that assets declaration could be handed over within three months, but the EC has requested that presenting them along with their nominations would set a good precedence.
Meanwhile, the EC has issued a tough new circular to all heads of State institutions to ensure there is no abuse of State resources by any of the candidates at the forthcoming elections, and warned them against participating in political activities.
He said that, as the Dept had received numerous complaints during past elections that State-owned vehicles, as well as aircraft had been illegally used for election work, those in charge of these vehicles must maintain a strict inventory to ensure these resources are not abused.
The EC also said that, while Ministers, State and Deputy Ministers are allowed to retain their vehicles in their official capacity during the interim period between the dissolution and holding of the election, these vehicles should not be used for election related activity and not display photos or the candidate’s number.
He has also warned against the use of garage numbers on vehicles belonging to State institutions. The EC said no State-owned buildings including schools, holiday bungalows or offices should be used to hold election meetings or house elections offices.
The EC has asked officials not to issue invitations or letters announcing the granting of land deeds, houses, gifts and others things under the guise of conducting State functions, that could be used to induce voters.
Public servants are strictly warned against participation in any political activity during their office hours or during holidays.
All recruitments, transfers and promotions within the government sector too have been prohibited till after the conclusion of the elections
By Chandani Kirinde