In a, landmark judgment in the history of elections in Sri Lanka, the Monaragala High Court has declared that the election of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) candidate who had purportedly won a seat in Monaragala Pradeshiya Sabha by bribing the voters as null and void (no legal validity).

According to the judgment, the election of Tharanga Dissanayaka, a member of Monaragala Pradeshiya Sabha contested the Local Government Election on the SLPP ticket was declared as null and void and the SLPP candidate Sunil Shantha who had secured the next highest number of votes was ordered to be appointed to fill the vacant position.

Monaragala High Court Judge Ranga Dissanayake made this judgment pursuant to an election petition filed by PAFFREL organization in collaboration with loosing candidate and the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence challenging the offering various kinds of bribes to the voters during the 2018 local government elections.


The Executive Director of PAFFRAL Rohana Hettiarachchi told that this historic ruling will serve as a deterrent to future candidates in bribing the voters. Even if they continue to bribe, their election will be liable to be   challenged subsequently. In addition, the need for enacting laws to limit election expenses by candidates and provision of a level playing field for all candidates in an election has been re-emphasized, he further said.


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