Prez Poll learning opportunity for NEC | Sunday Observer

Prez Poll learning opportunity for NEC

17 November, 2019

Election monitors say that yesterday’s ‘peacefully’ concluded presidential election provides a learning opportunity for the National Election Commission (NEC) to regulate mass media and social media platforms.

Speaking to the Sunday Observer National Coordinator of the Center for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) Manjula Gajanayake said media outlets violated election laws by directly promoting the candidates they were aligned to. He pointed out that there was a dire need for the NEC to address the issue.

During the polling period CMEV has received 173 complaints regarding election law violations, and about 110 of them were perpetrated by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna.

Meanwhile, Police Spokesperson SSP Ruwan Gunasekara said eight individuals were arrested for taking photographs at polling booths and 18 individuals were arrested for violating laws around polling booths and other related incidents. He said, overall, it was a ‘peaceful election’.

CMEV’s Gajanayake also said yesterday’s election reported less violations of rules and regulations as compared to previous presidential elections.

“In previous elections we saw incidents that had direct impact on election results, but we did not observe such incidents this time,” Gajanayake added.

Echoing his views, Executive Director of the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), Manas Makeen said the election reflected a ‘good democratic sign’.

He said the election exhibited special features including the highest number of candidates and an election where the President, Prime Minister, nor the Opposition Leader contested.

“Out of the 35 candidates only about ten was directly involved in their political campaigns,” Makeen said. About ten others contested in a bid to aid the main candidates.

He also said that most others contested in the hopes of seeking asylum in foreign countries.