Election Monitor asks EC not to use deposits

The National Centre for Election Monitoring in Sri Lanka yesterday requested the Election Commission (EC) not to use the deposits made by political parties and Independent Groups for the Local Government Election.

The Organization in a letter to the Election Commission under the hand of its Executive Director S. B. Herath said that information has surfaced that the Election Commission is making arrangements to use deposits made by the political parties and independent groups.

The organization demands the Election Commission Chairman to make the public aware as to whether a decision has been taken to use the candidates’ money.

Excerpts from the message : It is reported that it has not been possible to find the finances required for the expenses of the 2023 Local Government Institutions Elections due to the lack of money prevailing in the country.

Deposits are made to prevent unnecessary persons coming forward to contest the elections.

Up to now, deposits made in connection with elections have not been used on behalf of election expenses. Subsequent to the elections being held, these deposits made are confiscated and are

sent to the Government Treasury. Other deposits are returned to each party and independent groups.

Therefore, we earnestly request you to refrain from using this money for the expenses for the upcoming local government election.According to the Election Commission, more than eighty thousand candidates are contesting the elections.

If the money deposited by candidates is used on behalf of election expenditure it would set a wrong precedent. It will create problems regarding whether the election is free and fair and its legality as well. According to Clause 21 30 (04) Clause of the Constitution the Commission is an institution that is appointed on a temporary basis.

Its chairman and members should leave their posts after the specified tenures. Due to the unlawful spending of government money within such a situation, members who will be appointed in the future will also have to face severe difficulties. At the same time they could be subject to allegations of corruption.

by Daily News Sri Lanka

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