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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Sri Lanka: Nepotism leads to misuse of public property in elections

Election observers say the main reason for the abuse of State property in the election campaigns, is due to the fact that a large number of relatives of politicians are contesting at the upcoming Provincial Council elections.

Network for Election Monitoring Intellectuals for Human Rights (NEM IHR) noted that State property is being used openly for election campaigns, drawn from ministries and departments, which are headed by those

politicians. Accordingly, human and other resources of the Ministries of EconomicDevelopment, Commerce and Industries, Corporate and Internal Trade, Sports, Land and Land Development, Prison and Prison Reforms, and Cultural Affairs, have been used for election propaganda work, the Chief Executive of NEM IHR, Dr. Udita Gunasekara, said.
“Samurdhi officers who are employed in the Ministry of Economic Development were used for election propaganda work. The Director General of the Samurdhi Authority had participated in UPFA election meetings in the Kurunegala District, and had requested the public to vote for the government,” he said.

He added that 521 election law violations were reported so far, out of which 135 violations pertain to the abuse of State property.

He also said military personnel have been influencing the public in the Northern Province, adding that the officers, in civvies, had requested the people to vote for the UPFA. NEM IHR further said they have received complaints from Opposition parties, who had stated they are unable to engage in election activities freely, due to the actions of armed groups connected to certain political parties affiliated to the government.


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