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Monday, December 4, 2023

Disregarding the warnings issued by the Elections Commissioner and misuse of state resourses are continuing

TISL-PPPR to sue poll law violators

Transparency International Sri Lanka’s-Programme to Protect Pubic Resources (TISL-PPPR) says it is seriously considering taking legal action against those who continue to violate election laws, despite warnings from the Commissioner of Elections.

Senior Manager, Advocacy and Public Relations, Shan Wijethunge, said candidates for the forthcoming Provincial Council elections are disregarding the warnings issued by the Elections Commissioner and are continuing to use public property and resources and therefore, TISL-PPPR is exploring the possibility of taking legal action against them. “We are having discussions with the Lawyers for Democracy (LfD) in this regard,” he said.

TISL-PPPR, as of yesterday, had received 56 complaints of misuse of public property and information regarding over 1,500 public servants being employed for election propaganda purposes. Wijethunge said, the TISL-PPPR has verified around 31 complaints of misuse of public properties and made submissions to the Elections Commissioner, with evidence to support, but although the Elections Commissioner is acting on the complaints, the candidates tend to ignore the warnings issued. “We have even submitted details of vehicle numbers and logos as proof but the misuse continues unabated,” he said.

Wijethunge said yesterday, TISL has received information that over 250 public officials from the Ministry of Culture and Arts from Dambulla, Kandy and Kurunegala areas had gone campaigning for the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) candidates in Kandy, Polonnaruwa, Polpithigama, Yapahuwa, Nikawewa and Mahawewa.  However, Wijethunge said, although the election law violations are low compared to the Parliamentary Elections in 2004 and Presidential Elections in 2005, there is the possibility of complaints increasing  in number towards the eve of the elections
By Chrishanthi Christopher


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