Asian polls monitors condemn attempts to postpone LG elections

Asia’s leading polls monitoring outfit, Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), yesterday said it was deeply concerned by the numerous attempts to disrupt the long overdue local elections, in Sri Lanka.

ANFREL said the local elections were supposed to be held on 20th March, 2022, and have been postponed, for almost a year, by the Minister of Provincial Council and Local Government. The elections are currently scheduled for 9th March, 2023.

“However, we regret the recent developments, aimed at disrupting the elections, including through legal means, and the instruction to stop accepting deposits, from candidates, issued by a Ministry Secretary, to returning officers. Furthermore, the Department of Government Printing refused to submit the printed postal ballot papers, to the Election Commission (EC), until the printing cost is paid, resulted in the indefinite postponement of the postal voting, which was originally slated for 22-24 February,” it said.

Given below is the ANFREL statement in full: “We are also alarmed by reports of death threats against three EC commissioners, who were reportedly pressured to resign from their positions. We call on the Sri Lankan government to investigate these reports and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

“The right to free and fair elections is a fundamental human right, and any attempts to interfere with this right must be denounced in the strongest possible terms. Therefore, the Sri Lankan government must ensure that the elections are conducted, on the scheduled dates, without any further delay, and that the electoral process is transparent and fair.

We stand with the people of Sri Lanka in their pursuit of a free and fair electoral process, and urge the Sri Lankan government to take all necessary steps to ensure that the will of the people is reflected through genuine periodic elections, in accordance with Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).”

, Local, ,

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post