ANFREL submits proposals to SCPER | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

ANFREL submits proposals to SCPER

18 July, 2021

The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), the largest international election observation group in Asia, has submitted proposals to the Select Committee of Parliament on Electoral Reforms.

The ANFREL in a release said, “It appreciated the timely efforts of the Parliament of Sri Lanka to reform the country’s election laws and it believed the committee will receive progressive proposals from groups that seek to strengthen and make more inclusive Sri Lanka’s elections.”

“The appointment of the Select Committee to Identify Appropriate Reforms of the Election Laws and the Electoral System and to Recommend Necessary Amendments as well as the solicitation of proposals from interested groups are important and welcome initiatives,” it added.

The Select committee, appointed in April and headed by Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, is mandated to submit its recommendations in six months.

The ANFREL has been engaged in Sri Lanka observing elections since 2001.

It has observed 12 elections in the country, including last year’s parliamentary elections. Among its members are People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) and the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV).

Based in Bangkok the group unites 27 organisations across 17 countries in promoting democratic elections throughout Asia.

“We publish in our mission reports the recommendations for enhancing electoral processes drawn from the experience of our observers from across Asia.”

“In light of the Select Committee on Election Reform’s call for proposals,” the Asian monitoring body stated, “We have compiled a number of recommendations that we believe the Committee should consider in pursuit of freer, fairer and more inclusive elections.”

The ANFREL proposals cover, regulating poll campaign financing, strengthening self regulation in media, introduction of overseas voting as well as expansion of postal voting and enhancing independence of the Election Commission.

Sri Lanka is the only country in South Asia without a regulatory mechanism on campaign financing.