PPPR recommends holding elections under Caretaker Government

PPPR recommends holding elections under Caretaker Government

Transparency International Sri Lanka’s Election Monitoring arm, ‘The Programme for Protection of Public Resources (PPPR)’ has recommended that all future elections be held under a Caretaker Government. It has also stressed the need for an independent and effective Election Commission immediately.

PPPR  has said that only the President and the Cabinet of Ministers should constitute the Caretaker Government without any non-cabinet or deputy ministers. During Presidential Elections, the incumbent President and the Cabinet of Ministers to be permitted to attend only to routine functions that have no bearing on the election. No public ceremonies of any magnitude should take place incurring public expenditure, where the President or the Cabinet of Ministers or Members of Parliament or any candidate attends, the report has suggested.

PPR launching its final report on 28th September 2010 at SLFI auditorium amidst a gathering including politicians, media personnel and activists.

Elaborating further, it has been recommended that the Commissioner of Elections may give appropriate directions to any of the members of the Caretaker Government in order to ensure a free and fair poll. 

Referring to Provincial Council and local authorities’ elections, it has been suggested that members of the relevant bodies should cease to hold office, if they are to be candidates.

Highlighting grave abuse of public resources in the  Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, the report has pointed out the cost that people are compelled to bear as a result of these abuses, and how such abuses compromise the integrity of the whole election. The need to appoint a  Commission of Inquiry to inquire into the abuses of public resources during elections headed by a person with integrity and acceptable to the civil society has been pointed out. The PPPR  has also recommended the appointment of independent Bribery, Police and Public Service Commissions.

PPPR recommends that the cost of abuse of public resources should be recovered from the errant candidates immediately. Independent review and reports by the Commissioner General of Inland Revenue, Customs Department, Financial Investigation Unit of the Central Bank and the Auditor General on the abuse of the state resources and expenditure of campaign funds should be made mandatory, it says.

A Systems Audit of the pre and post electoral counting and recording process to ensure integrity has also been emphasised.

Effective implementation of a Right to Information law to allow citizens’ access to government records, enact political party financing laws including provisions for declaration of such finances, periodical audits which should be submitted the Commissioner of Elections and an upper limit on the amount one can contribute, a clearer legal definition of political advertising, measures to prevent use of indirect representations during the campaign free period are among other recommendations.

Download the full report :  English  |   Sinhala

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