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‘Govt. servants, State resources cannot be used for political promotion’

Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya

Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said neither government servants nor State resources could be used to promote political parties at the Local Government election. He added that government servants are not allowed to volunteer their services to candidates.

Deshapriya, speaking to the media, stated that the above has been banned in the Constitution, Elections Ordinance, Establishments Code, and regulations of relevant institutions. In addition, the Election Commission has issued a gazette and circular with regard to it. A government servant, who works at a State institution, corporation, public liability company or a company where the government is a shareholder of 50 percent or more shares, comes under these laws. If caught violating election laws, he/she is liable to a fine of Rs. 100,000 or a one-year imprisonment, or both.

He further said government servants on active duty had no political rights. “Whether during office hours or after, they cannot volunteer or use their position to aid election campaigns of friends or relatives. Furthermore, they are not allowed to express political opinion which favours any particular political party,” Deshapriya said.