Guidelines agreed for local polls
Representatives of main political parties in Sri Lanka have urged the elections commissioner to take measures to curb malpractices during the local government elections.
The main opposition, United National Party (UNP), has requested Dayananda Dissanayake to ensure that every voter brings a recognised form of identity to the polling booth.
“Nearly 75% of the voters already have national identity cards according to the commissioner,” UNP parliamentarian Karunasena Kodituwakku told bbcsinhala.com.
The commissioner has been urged to make arrangements to make temporary identities for those who do not have national identity cards.
The government has meanwhile strongly rejected the suggestions by election monitors that the election may be marred with violence as more than 20,000 candidates are running for 30 March polls.
Minister Susil Premjayanth, General Secretary of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA), recalled that nearly 3500 of their supporters were in custody during 2001 local elections.
He told BBC Sandeshaya that the elections will be mainly free and fair unlike in 2001 conducted by UNP-led government.
The government has requested the commissioner not to postpone the polls as a result of pending court rulings for nearly 22 bodies.
“It will be difficult to adjust school holidays, if the polls are postponed,” Minister Premjayanth said.
Commissioner and the parties have agreed to set up a deadline for election campaign as there is no such deadline for the local polls.
“The parties agreed to stop campaigning 48 hours before the elections,” said Tilvin Silva,General Secretary of the Janantha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).