First consultative meeting on out-of-country voting

As a part of the ’Campaign ABC’ designed by CMEV to facilitate the voting rights of  Persons with Disabilities and migrant workers, CMEV conducted its first consultation session in partnership with the AFRIEL Youth Network on 16th October 2016 in Vavuniya.

Prof. S. Rathnajeevan H. Hoole attended this event representing the Election Commission of Sri Lanka (EC)  while Mr. M.M. Mohamed, Additional Commissioner of EC and Mr. Nalaka Ratnayake, Assistant Commissioner of EC addressed the event. Additionally Manjula Gajanayake spoke on international experience and methodologies of Out-of-Country Voting (OCV).

The purpose of this program has been to call for views and suggestions in relation to the rights of the out-of-country voters and compile a set of recommendations based on those inputs and present it to the relevant authorities including the parliamentary select committee nominated to investigate matters related to OCV. Higher officials attached to government ministries and departments as well as Sri Lanka Police, representatives of migrant workers associations and disability organisations, religious leaders, university students attended in this event.

It is worth noting that the Election Commission is not advocating any specific methodologies for Sri Lankan migrant voters, because there is a PSC that has been specifically established for this purpose since April 2016.  Yet however, the officials at the Election Commission are actively participating in this discourse as observers as well as resource persons.

Consultation for the Policy Brief on the Political Rights of Persons with Disabilities

CMEV has been engaging  in various initiatives of empowering disability organizations to achieve their political rights with special emphasis to voting rights of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and to create an inclusive discourse with that regard ensuring that the popular disability-related slogan ‘Nothing about us without us’ is given its true meaning. To this effect, CMEV has been conducting a series of programs aimed at the realization of the political / voting rights of the persons with disabilities in parallel with both national level elections held in the previous year as well. As a part of the newest chapter of the said initiatives, the first consultative discussion was held on the 10th of October in partnership with Fridsro Disability Rights organisation. Key representatives of DPOs in Central province took part in this occasion while Mr. Saman Sri Ratnayake, Additional Election Commissioner  attended this event as the main resource Person representing the Election Commission of Sri Lanka. The outcome document produced based on the information gathered at this consultative meeting, will be uploaded soon.

Special Media Communique on enumeration of Electoral Register 2016

Over the past three months and 27 days, the Election Commission of Sri Lanka has been engaging in the enumeration of the electoral register 2016 in 14,022 Grama Niladhari divisions with the participation of 12,607 Grama Niladharis covering all 25 districts. Today in parallel to the conclusion of this process, CMEV presents its observations through a press release which can be downloaded here.

The English and Tamil versions of the press release will soon follow.

Principles of Electoral Systems roundtable

The objective of this event was to conduct a roundtable on election system design and the likely impact of the MMP system, with key academics working in the field. The Guest Speaker of this event was Dr. Andrew Reynolds.

Dr. Reynolds is a Professor of Political Science and the Chair of Global Studies at UNC Chapel Hill (USA). He is also a lead author of the prominent International IDEA publication “Electoral System Design” and a recognized senior international expert. He has worked for the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and a range of other prominent international institutions. He has also served as an adviser on issues of electoral and constitutional design for 27 nations including Afghanistan, Burma, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Syria, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

The Regional Manager of IFES Mr. Vasu Mohan, and Attorney At – Law, Researcher – CPA Luwie Ganeshathasan assisted in facilitating the event.