Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 26 July 2015





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Polls chief's guidelines being followed - CMEV

Over 5,000 election monitors have been deployed by the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence to monitor election related incidents countrywide in the pre and post election period till the end of August, National Coordinator of the CMEV, Manjula Gajanayake said.

Manjula Gajanayake

The CMEV has already set up nine provincial desks in their head office in Colombo and hopes to send mobile teams to selected areas based on the ground reports they receive from election monitors, he added.

"On polling day we will deploy over 4,000 static observers in polling stations and 70 to 90 observers in counting centres countrywide to observe the counting process," Gajanayake added.

The basis of deploying monitors is on an electoral basis.

The CMEV basically monitors election violence at every election. "But we have changed our angles a little this time as less election violence has been reported. We are focusing on the abuse of State property by politicians this time too," he added.

The CMEV is expecting the approval of the Elections Commissioner to get 39 European monitors to join their work during the election.

"By getting foreign election monitors we can share our experience as the election process does not vary from country to country. If they recommend something we can follow those recommendations," he added.

Gajanayake said the Police Department has been acting in an impartial manner during the past few weeks. "In the past two or three decades we experienced the Police Department working according to the whims of politicians in power.The government has not given any instructions nor intervened in Police activities. We should appreciate this situation," he added.

"The situation in the country is peaceful and we cannot believe there is an election because the Police have removed all the posters and cutouts according to the guidelines issued by the Elections Commissioner. We can see that most officers work in keeping with the guidelines issued by the Elections Commissioner. Actually we didn't see such a trend during previous elections. We hope this can be continued during the post election period too," he added.

However, he said the support election monitors get from political parties is not enough. "When they are in power they blame the election monitors saying that we are working according to the dictates of European countries.

When in the Opposition they support us. The manner in which political parties engage with election monitors has to be changed," he added.

Gajanayake said the CMEV has received 81 complaints of election related violence so far. "Of them 13 are major incidents. Compared to other elections, the first week was calm and quiet. We hope this trend will continue during the post-election period too," he added.



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