Election commissioner tightens grip

Election commissioner tightens grip

election2010Passport compulsory, party reps to be present during transport of ballot boxes

Amidst a high poll related violence, allegations and counter allegations of various malpractices the Elections Commissioner and civic groups have deployed a multi pronged approach to stem any eventuality, as a host of foreign Election Monitors keep watch for any malpractices.

Yesterday Election Comissioner said that the passport is compulsory for many who claim to have come from abroad.

He also called upon the main factions to be present when ballot boxes are transported to the North and East via sea or air.

Ten foreign observers have been deployed in the North and the East, Elections Department said.

The observers are members of the Asian Election Monitoring Authority.

A spokesman from the department said they began their work last morning and were on field visits.

They have also met the returning officers yesterday.

Assistant Commissioner of Elections Jaffna and Kilinochchi District P. Kuganathan told Daily Mirror that foreign observers deployed in the district met him and discussed on the arrangements made for the polls.

He claimed that the foreign observers in the district were happy about the arrangements as they did not come out with any negative points when they met him.

The head of the foreign observers Delegation Dr. Wel Ta Pan has been deployed in Hambantota District. The foreign observers earlier said that observers each would be deployed in each district.

Meanwhile 14 other election observers got down by PAFFREL had also been deployed in various areas after familiarizing with the work context. They were now placed in Jaffna, Vavuniya, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Kandy, Hambantota and the western province, PAFFREL said.

Commissioner Dissanayake said that the passport would be compulsory for those voters from the North who had come down to Sri Lanka and are expected to vote today. He had made this decision as it has been found out that only 350,000 voters in the North out of the 700,000 registered voters are living in Sri Lanka at the moment.The polls chief had ordered his officers to prepare a list of the registered voters who ar abroad. Therefore if any one who claimed he had come from abroad will have to produce his passport when casting his vote.

DPF Leader Mano Ganeshan  told Daily Mirror that this would stop any attempt of rigging. Meanwhile yesterday he notified that both the opposition and the ruling UPFA can be present when ballot boxes are airlifted or transported by naval boats to the counting centres in certain areas of the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

The ballot boxes of 19 polling stations  will be airlifted to the counting centres. Besides, ballot boxes will be transported by naval boats from the island areas of Jaffna. The Commissioner has decided to airlift ballot boxes in these areas as a time consuming exercise.

Besides, the election authorities have arranged transport facilities for the displaced persons to travel to polling stations.

/ English

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