In a letter to the Election Commissioner PAFFREL, Peoples Action for Free and Fair Elections has called him to follow the time frames of previous presidential election, in case of snap election to be held. The letter says that it is the discretion as the Election Commissioner to declare the day of polling and not the politicians.
The full letter follows:
A public discussion on a snap presidential election is currently underway throughout the country though there are two more years for the completion of the prudential term. lt is reported that the Pope has been invited for a visit during the same period when this snap election is slated to be conducted. For Sri Lankans, both these events hold great significance. lt is your discretion as the Election Commissioner to declare the day of polling. Therefore, we would like to bring to your notice the following matters; First, we would like to bring to your notice the steps followed in order for the declaration of polling days at the previous presidential election.
*According to the table, the minimum number of days allotted for the nomination period is 19, and the maximum number 2L.
*For the campaign, the minimum number of days allotted is 33 and the maximum number 41.
*However, the government ministers have been quoted that the election will be conducted either on January 3 or 8. (Relevant newspaper reports attached).
we hope that you are aware of the kind of controversy created in the country after a certain minister prematurely announced the polling day of the last Uva Provincial Council Election. tn a democratic society, elections are scheduled according to a timetable. Yet, the conducting of elections has been at the discretion of the party in power during the past three decades. And, it is an unfortunate situation where democratic principles are at stake. lt has even taken a turn for the worse now with ministers daring to announce polling days. The conducting of constant elections, alone, does not ensure democracy.
It is your duty to ensure the democratic process of conducting elections so that the public confidence in the system remains intact. We are hopeful that you will act responsibly in this case.
Against this backdroP, You are kindly requested to declare the day of polling at the snap election in a manner that ensures the rights of political parties and the public confidence in the system. In this exercise, you are also called upon to act with due consideration for the number of dates allotted for each poll-related activity during the past presidential elections.