The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) commenced its monitoring of the Provincial Council Elections in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces on 8th August 2008. CMEV monitoring focused on the incidence of electoral violence and malpractice throughout the campaign and on Polling Day. CMEV monitoring has always been conducted in the belief that it contributes to the making of informed choices by the voter and is organized accordingly.
Monitors in the field send information for further corroboration to the CMEV Secretariat in Colombo, which in turn releases reports to the media.
In the elections to the two Provincial Councils there was a decrease in the number and nature of incidents on Election Day, although there were a considerable number of incidents reported during the campaign, thereby vitiating the freeness and fairness of the polls.
In these elections, the highest number of complaints related to the disenfranchisement of voters on account of the lack of proper identity documents. This was also the case in the Eastern Provincial Council Election held on 10th May 2008. In its report on that election, CMEV highlighted the problem and the importance of taking steps to rectify it. The problem however has persisted. Another such issue is that of the misuse of public resources. This has become a common feature of elections held in Sri Lanka and is yet another reinforcement of the argument consistently advanced by CMEV regarding the urgency and pivotal importance of the full implementation of the Seventeenth Amendment. CMEV believes that this, through the establishment of independent commissions for the Police, Public Service and Elections amongst others, is absolutely necessary for protecting the integrity of the electoral process.
Download the report in full here as a PDF.