Due to various reasons Peoples trust on Elections was largely lost during the last two elections D.M. Dissanayake National Organizer to the Center for Monitoring Election Monitoring said.
Opposition allegation of serious and decisive malpractice in the counting process Failure to implement 17th amendment ,Election Commissioner being reluctant to exercise his power guaranteed by the constitution had serious effect on the Elections Dissanayake said.
He said this while addressing the Joint discussion of the Election monitors at the SLFI auditorium on the 28th September 2010. The joint discussion which was organized by TISL had the participation of all the independent election monitors.
state control media had a blatant partnership and they openly disregard the competent authority. This resulted in most of the people receiving one sided story and Commissioner’s order to police to remove illegal banners, posters and cut outs of candidates went largely unheeded he pointed out.
According to the National organizer of the CMEV high scale and extent of misuse of state resources in electioneering,attacks on media institutions and personals,unexpected arrests, detention and false litigation against expected strong candidates from the opposition and Inactive police were also contributory factor for the loss of integrity at the Elections.
He pointed out election commissioner had to intervene to reverse the transfers of the police officers at several instances.
In his presentation he has made following recommendations for free and fair election.
• The Election Commission should be established with full gamut of powers vested in it by the constitution, election laws and 17th amendment to the constitution and the law relating to the powers and function of a Competent Authority. Mechanism of appointing election commission should be revised as to be able to function without political interference instead of appoint it by the president as proposed in the 18th amendment.
• The police should investigate the complaints of election related violence and take appropriate action according to the law against the proven perpetrators. They should also provide the election commission and the public with the progress report on their investigation.
• The election laws should be revised and provisions pertaining to party funding and election campaign expenses auditing and electronic campaigning should be included.
• Political parties should demonstrate their commitment to a violence and malpractice free electoral politics by denying nomination for proved perpetrators of violence.
• A commonly agreed electoral code of conduct should be introduced for political parties and their candidates. The independent observers should be allowed to monitor the entire process of conduct of election precisely the counting process which is the critical part of the process.
• Information relating to voter identification documentation should be widely publicized well in advance to the polling day and the department of registration of persons should ensure to provide valid Identification document well in advance in order to assure the effective service delivery and a collaborative mechanism should be established by the both Departments.
• Security of independent observers should be assured by the police and duty of Monitors should be respected by all political parties.