Members of the March 12 Movement addressing the media

In a bid to promote a clean political environment, the March 12 Movement is pledging that any candidate contesting the August 5 parliamentary elections, who publicly declares his or her assets and liabilities will be given free publicity.

Over 7450 candidates, including 3800 representing independent groups, are contesting the upcoming election. Of them only 2.3 per cent will secure a seat in the parliament.

During a press conference this week the March 12 Movement requested the candidates to engage in clean politics and usher in a healthy political atmosphere, to ensure that the country is free from corruption.

The March 12 Movement also asked the candidates to sign a pledge that gives details of how a politician should behave after he or she is elected.

Speaking to Counterpoint, Executive Director of Peoples Action for Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) Rohana Hettiarachchi, who is also part of the March 12 Movement, said they will also give publicity for the candidates who sign the pledge.

The pledge includes ‘clean conduct’ to conduct oneself, always in a manner that safeguards the right to live and survival of all human beings and uplifting the respect, dignity and respectability of oneself and the others; ‘clean social relations’ to dedicate oneself to promote unity and reconciliation and promotion of racial, religious and gender equality in all social relations; ‘clean and transparent transactions’ to defend the member’s honesty and integrity by refraining from receiving or offering bribes, abstaining from acts of corruption and acting against such practices.

As well, ‘clean income and expenses’ to maintain transparency and accountability  in all financial  transactions,  personal and public including expenses incurred  and donations received  pertains  to his or her political campaigns  and always to safeguard his or her integrity  by making the declaration of  his or her assets and liabilities public; and ‘clean environment’ to preserve the earth, water, air and environment in general and to refrain from polluting the environment in his or her election campaigns or any other political, economic or personal activities, in particular are those listed in the pledge.

A total of 30 members of the previous parliament have already pledged to join hands with the March 12 Movement to ensure good conduct free of bribery and corruption during their tenure of office. The movement sees this as a positive sign and expects it to continue for the second time during the upcoming election.

“We are also introducing the score card for the second time. This score card will help voters to understand if the candidate they are voting for is the ideal choice,” Mr. Hettiarachchi said. He added that ‘quality individuals’ must be sent to the parliament.

PAFFREL will also deploy 5,000-6,000 election observers during the upcoming election period to monitor its process.

“We are also going to use an app to collect data from the election observers. This way it will be easier for us to analyze the gathered data,” Mr. Hettiarachchi said.

Given below is contact information for the public to complain to PAFFREL regarding any election law violations.

Annotation 2020-06-28 223031


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