The use of public offices and institutions for canvassing in any form for the forthcoming parliamentary elections is prohibited, says the Election Commission.
Issuing a media release, the Commission states that no public or provincial office, government school, local government office or institution or any buildings belonging to State Corporations or Statutory Boards can be used for and on behalf of any candidate contesting the parliamentary election, scheduled to be held on August 5th. Canvassing, distribution of handbills or any election related activity, the release states cannot be conducted in any of the places mentioned above.
‘Therefore, it is notified hereby to all politicians, political activists and trade union activists that it is mandatory to abstain from such activities,” the release further states, adding that it is the responsibility of all Heads of Public or Provincial Council offices, government schools, State Corporations, Statutory Boards and their Sub-Offices and Local Government offices to ensure such “illegal activities within the office premises” do not take place. The Chairman of the Election Commission who has signed the release also draws attention ‘to Paragraphs 2:4 and 2:5 of Chapter XXXII of the Establishments Code’ in this connection.
Attention is also drawn to the contents “of the Gazette Extraordinary No. 2178/29 dated 2020.06.06 of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the directions to prevent the misuse of movable or immovable properties belonging to the State, State Corporations or Statutory Boards during the period of an election for the promotion of or in prejudice to any part, group or candidate or obstructing the conduct of free and fair election, issued by the Elections Commission.”
Meanwhile in a separate media release the Election Commission states that it has received a total of 121 complaints of violation of laws, for the 24 hour period beginning at 4 pm on July 5, 2020, with the National Elections Complaints Management Centre receiving 14 and the District Elections Complaints Centre recording 107 complaints.
The total number of complaints received up to date is 2084 according to the release. Of these, there has been one case of violence and 1495 cases of election laws violations reported to the District Elections Complaints Centre. The number of complaints received by the National Elections Complaints Management Centre meanwhile has been 588, and all of these were regarding to election laws violations.