No change in polls date | Sunday Observer
Despite new cluster of Covid-19 patients

No change in polls date

The Election Commission will go ahead with the August 5 election, despite the new cluster of Covid-19 patients detected at a drug rehabilitation centre in Kandakadu, Commissioner General of Elections Saman Sri Rathnayake said.

He said the Election Commission is vigilant of the advice given by the Health authorities.

The Parliamentary Elections were postponed twice due to the ongoing pandemic before it was set for August 5. Sri Lanka has reported over 2,450 Covid-19 patients as at yesterday, July 11.

Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has requested that the health guidelines issued by the Health authorities be gazetted. “We have written 5-6 letters to the Minister of Health and the Deputy General of Health Services to gazette the Covid-19 health guidelines. If the candidates and the voters do not follow these guidelines we will definitely be in trouble,” Deshapriya said.

He said potential voters shake hands with the candidates; they also take part in rallies without wearing masks or observing the one-metre distance between one another.

“If one person has the virus then it will spread,” he said.

No serious incidents of violence have been reported so far despite the election fever heating up due to the intra party battle for preferential votes at the upcoming general election on August 5.

The Election Commission has recorded 2,620 election-related complaints up to Friday last week, all of which were related to election law violations. Of them, almost 1,950 complaints were received by the district complaints management centres of the EC. The Commission report which is updated daily had a zero number of incidents of violence. However, PAFFREL, an independent polls monitor in its daily report ending Friday stated there had been three incidents of grave assault and seven cases of assault. Of these, six were unconfirmed.

PAFFREL also recorded two confirmed cases of damage to property and five cases of threatening and causing fear while there had been four incidents of attacks on party offices.

The polls monitor also reported eight incidents of misuse of state power, officials and state property while there were 37 unconfirmed cases.