EC can’t verify citizenship of candidates: Ratnayake

<p><img src="" alt="Featured Image"></p><p><!-- wp:html --><p><strong><span>By Rathindra Kuruwita</span></strong></p>
<p>The Elections Commission (EC) was in no position to determine whether a candidate is a citizen of another country, Commissioner General of Elections, Saman Sri Ratnayake said yesterday. He said so when he was asked why the EC had not been able to find out that Diana Gamage was a British citizen when the SJB filed nominations in 2020.</p>
<p>Ratnayake added that the nomination board appointed by the Commission only had a very short period of time to verify information given on the day of nominations.</p>
<p>"The board usually has a few hours to verify everything. They only look at a few things, i.e., whether the candidate has signed the nomination papers, whether the party has signed them, whether a JP has certified details of a candidate, etc.," he said.</p>
<p>Those on the nomination boards could not even independently verify the signatures of candidates, Ratnayake said.</p>
<p>"Even if another party objects saying a candidate is a citizen of another country, there is nothing we can do. How could we determine this? Only courts can look into such claims and make decisions."</p>
<p>Ratnayake said the EC also did not inquire into the citizenship of the office-bearers of a political party.</p>
<p>The laws only prohibited non Sri Lankans contesting certain elections and holding certain positions, he said. "Political parties belong to their members. The Election Commission plays no role in the internal affairs of political parties. When office-bearers are appointed, we only look at whether that has been done according to the Constitution of a party."</p><!-- /wp:html --></p><p>[Category: <a href="" rel="category tag">Uncategorized</a>]</p><p><strong>Tags:</strong> </p>

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