No appointments during election season - Chairman, Election Commission | Sunday Observer

No appointments during election season - Chairman, Election Commission

The Prime Minister’s Office decided to call off two ceremonies to issue appointments to principals yesterday and admission letters to students on Tuesday (24) following concerns that the events would contravene election laws.

Addressing the media at the Election Commission Head Office on Friday, Chairman of the Election Commission, Mahinda Deshapriya said government service recruitments after an election has been declared contravenes elections laws.

The Ministry of Education had made arrangements to give appointment letters to 1,918 principals (Grade III) yesterday and to admission letters to students in mid grades at national and central colleges on Tuesday (24). The General Secretary, Ceylon Teachers’ Union, Joseph Stalin told the Sunday Observer the event appeared to be politically motivated. “We have officially informed our objections to the Ministry of Education, against holding such events during an election season,” he said

In this backdrop the sudden cancellation of the ceremonies has inconvenienced those who were to attend. Election Commission Chairman Deshapriya stressed that gaining political advantage through handing out state sector jobs in an election period must be stopped.

According to a special circular issued by the Election Commission on September 18, recruiting, appointing and promoting government officers has to be avoided commencing September 18, till the date when election results are announced, which is recognized as the ‘election period’.

Article 7 (i) of the circular further denotes that special approval from the Election Commission must be obtained to carry out any of the above-mentioned activities even if it had commenced prior to the election period.

“If employment opportunities are provided, or interviews are underway or have been called as part of a long time process, and if it can be ascertained that filling these vacancies is necessary for the every day running of these institutions then we will allow the government to proceed, on the basis that all relevant information is provided to the Election Commission,” he explained.

“No appointment letters have been issued by the Education Ministry. The interview and exams had already concluded for the principals. That would be followed, by the issuance of appointment letters, subsequent to the elections now” State Minister of Education, Vijayakala Maheswaran said.

“Many programs and activities have been lined up. But, after the declaration of the election date, they must be cancelled, and going by protocol we have to abide by it,” she added.

 

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