Polls watchdog highlights clashes over Manape

Polls watchdog highlights clashes over Manape

ele2010The Island

Fights between supporters of opposition political party candidates have been reported from the Kurunegala and Kalutara districts mainly due to the preferential votes in view of the upcoming parliamentary elections.

“None of the Government or Opposition candidates observe the election laws,” said Anura Gunatilleke, Secretary for Civil and Political Rights of the Network for Election Monitoring – Intellectuals for Human Rights (NEMIHR) yesterday.

“They do not seem to care about laws when it comes to giant cut-outs, photographs with their number etc. Most allegations are against the UPFA, but we have also received complaints of various violations of the election laws by the UNF and JVP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA),” he added.

The NEMIHR has received 40 complaints so far since the parliamentary elections were announced on February 9, including assaults (9), destruction of party election offices (6), threats (3), damages to property (3), illegal propaganda (11) etc. Cut-outs, posters, banners etc are displayed at public places by the UPFA and Opposition parties disregarding the election laws of the country. Police, too, had to be blamed for their failure to remove those propaganda materials, said the NEMIHR official.

NEMIHR chief executive officer Professor Uditha Gunasekera stated that State resources were being abused for election purposes by the UPFA and a vehicle (HB – 5048) belonging to the Land Reclamation and Development Board (LRDB) used for the ruling party electioneering had met with an accident at Angunukolapelessa in Hambantota. The vehicle had been badly damaged, he said.

Many vehicles from State organisations were being used for election work of UPFA candidates, Prof. Gunasekera said.

“Disputes between candidates from various political parties for preferential votes may increase,” he said.

/ English

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