Whose entitlement are elections?

The number of elections held so far since the country gained universal suffrage is 74 and we have a very formal mechanism for holding elections. However, some electoral reforms that need to be introduced immediately to ensure a more effective electoral process. Thus, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), as one of the active election observation bodies in the country, will hold an online discussion on some of such electoral reforms. The discussion will be based on the last two national-level elections held in the country, Parliamentary and Presidential Elections. Therefore, please visit the ASIAN Mirror Youtube Channel or CMEV Facebook page at 6.00 pm on the 19th February 2021 as shown below to extend your active participation.

Please watch full program via the following links:

https://fb.watch/3NaTHKvgDI/

Four Million Voters who could not exercise their Sovereignty

In any election held in this country, the number of voters who do not come to the polling centers due to the absence of facilities to cast their vote for various reasons is very large. Nearly four million people (3,920,576) did not cast their votes in the last Parliamentary Election held in 2020. Accordingly, it is crystal clear that the introduction of alternative / advance voting methods for voting is one of the few immediate electoral reforms that should not be unaddressed.

මෙරටේ පැවැත්වෙන කවර මැතිවරණයකදී හෝ විවිධ හේතු මත තම ජන්දය භාවිත කිරීමට පහසුකම් නොලැබීම නිසා ජන්ද පොළට නොඑන  ජන්දදායකයන් ප්‍රමාණය ගණනින් ඉතා විශාලය. පසුගිය පාර්ලිමේන්තු මැතිවරණයේදී එලෙස තම ජන්දය භාවිත නොකරන ලද පිරිස මිලියන හතරකට ආසන්න විය (3,920,576). ඒ අනුව  ජන්ද භාවිතය උදෙසා විකල්ප/පූර්ව  ක්‍රමවේද හඳුන්වාදීම අත්නොහැරිය යුතු ආසන්නතම මැතිවරණ ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණ ස්වල්පයෙන් එකක් බව ඉතා පැහැදිළිය. 

Please watch full program via the following links:

https://fb.watch/3wyofIEISZ/

JOINT STATEMENT: MYANMAR: STOP THE COUP, LET ELECTION TRIBUNALS DO THEIR JOB

On 1 February, the armed forces of Myanmar (Tatmadaw), ostensibly acting on allegations of voter fraud in the general elections of 8 November 2020, detained numerous government officials, including State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, and Union Election Commission (UEC) Chair U Hla Thein, as well as pro-democracy activists and politicians from the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) and other parties.

The Tatmadaw subsequently announced that it would seize power, declare a one-year state of emergency, and install Vice-President and retired general U Myint Swe as acting president. It was also announced that new elections would be held after the state of emergency under a new election commission, which was later appointed on the night of 2 February.

The undersigned election or human rights monitoring organizations condemn the military coup in Myanmar and call for the immediate release of all detained politicians, government officials, and activists. The Tatmadaw must restore power to the civilian-led government, and seek redress of election-related complaints through the due process of law established under the 2008 Constitution.

Indeed, Myanmar’s Constitution and election laws provide a mechanism to resolve disputes in the form of election tribunals. The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which has repeatedly made claims of vote-rigging and irregularities in the recent general elections, has like any other stakeholder the legal right to formally contest election results. It certainly has done so, filing 174 complaints out of the 287 received by the UEC.

Election observers were looking forward to seeing all election-related complaints and potential evidence presented and addressed in tribunal proceedings. According to our information, the UEC was about to proceed with the appointment of election tribunals when the military intervened. Election dispute resolution is an integral part of any electoral process, which rests on the fundamental premise that all sides act in good faith.

Therefore, the Tatmadaw must back down from its coup attempt and instead engage in a peaceful and transparent election dispute resolution process. The road to a fully realized democracy is long and arduous, but it is important that all stakeholders commit to upholding and protecting democratic norms. A repeat of what transpired after the 1990 general elections would mark a stark return to authoritarianism and will not be accepted by the people of Myanmar and the international community.

More Information follow the link

https://anfrel.org/joint-statement-myanmar-stop-the-coup-let-election-tribunals-do-their-job/

The challenge of regulating election campaign expenditure: Why is Sri Lanka’s youth generation silent?

One of the focus areas of which the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) has been vocal in parallel with the electoral reform process in Sri Lanka since several decades ago, is the need to regulate unlimited election campaign expenditure in Sri Lanka and to introduce an appropriate legislative mechanism. It is gratifying to note that there has been a strong social focus on this election-related theme at the time, and the Centre for Election Violence Monitoring has also spearheaded various initiatives aimed at continuing a broader social dialogue on the subject matter.

As part of the series of online programs being organized on the above topic, another such program being arranged to be conducted in collaboration with the ‘Next Generation’. We look forward to discussing the challenges facing young political activists in this country in the face of unregulated and unlimited election campaign finances, and we hope that all citizens who aspire to a Level Playing Field in the electoral process will join us in this discussion.

Please watch full program via the following link:

Women’s political activism is underestimated by insecure politicians

Women’s political activism became more active in the country around 1919 with the island-wide movement for women’s suffrage. Even though it has been more or less the opportunity to contest elections since then, getting nominations for women activists is still not an easy task. The forthcoming Provincial Council election will certainly be a challenging occasion. If given a chance, there are a large number of women political activists who aspire to contest elections.

This issue was also discussed extensively during a series of training programs for women political activists organized by the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) in collaboration with IRI and this short video contains the views expressed by R.Iresha Udeni Hettihewa of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) who participated in this Uva Provincial Workshop.

Identifying Women Political Activists

Various activists and civil society organizations in the country have, for a long time, been calling for specific recognition for women’s political activism. The 25% quota for women, established for local government bodies, was a significant milestone. Although it confirmed only 23.5% female representation at the end of the election, it was a hallmark of Sri Lanka’s future women’s political representation. The most interesting trend in that process was the emergence of a strong women’s force of 1926 compared to only 88 female members in local government bodies before the quota system.

One way to further reinforce the future political activism of women is to give them an appropriate and sufficient understanding of the procedures of the institutional system and the laws on local governance. The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) will continue to support them in this regard. This short video has been prepared with the views of female local government representatives who participated in a series of programs conducted in collaboration with the International Republican Institute (IRI). 

Mitigating Electoral Threats to Increase Women’s Participation in the Political Process

CMEV is passionate about women’s political activism in the country and continues to promote and encourage women’s political activism.

Simultaneously, a series of workshops were held covering the entire island in the recent past. Here is a very short video made of the opinions shared by Surangi Samaratunga, a Member of the Anuradhapura Municipal Council representing the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) at the workshop held in the North Central Province.

CMEV organized the event in collaboration with the International Republican Institute (IRI) as part of a Series of Post- Election Assessment Workshops with Women Local Government Representatives and Political Activists.

Are Sri Lankans not eligible for an Advance Voting System – Potential Opportunities”

The number of people who lose the opportunity to cast their vote in every election held in this country is unlimited. That number was close to 3 million at the last election. Although there may be a certain percentage of people in the country who abstain from voting to protest without voting, most live in a background where the facilities to cast their votes are marginal.
To provide an Advance Voting facility to the voters of this country, there should be a continuous dialogue among the electoral stakeholders and there should be a special focus and interest on it among the newly elected members of Parliament as well.
The second Virtual Discussion organized by CMEV in association with DRI will be held from 6.00 PM to 7.30 PM on the 20th of December 2020.

Please watch full program via the following  link: https://fb.watch/2v5flPvMp2/

Are elections held in an Unlevel Playing Field is Free? Fair?

What is the golden rule that should exist in any sport? All competitors compete on an equal playing field. Elections are also a sport in a democratic country. Its competitors are candidates. However, no such level playing field has been created for the forthcoming elections in this country. Is it a dream to find such a level playing field as long as election campaign finance is not regulated?
Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) cordially invites you to join us for the first  webinar discussion on ” Importance of Regulating Election Campaign Finance to create a level playing field in Elections in Sri Lanka” 

The webinar discussion will be on the 29th of November commencing at 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm, in the Tamil language with the participation of Parliamentarians and prominent political women activists. 
We would greatly value your participation and contribution to the discussion  We kindly request you to join us 15 minutes prior to the session. 


Please watch full program via the following  link: https://fb.watch/28XaRTFyx1/

History of the Institute of Election Management in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has a distinguished history of election management. The number of national and local level elections held so far since the country gained universal suffrage is about 74. Until 2015, the Department of Elections was the authority to hold elections in this country. The Election Commission was then established. The said Election Commission is due to end its term on November 13, 2020. Therefore, here is an Infographic compiled by the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) showing the tenure of the officials responsible for the conduct of the elections from the time of the commencement of the formal elections in the country to the present day.

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ මැතිවරණ ඉතිහාසය

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට මැතිවරණ කළමනාකරණය පිළිබඳව ඇත්තේ කීර්තිමත් ඉතිහාසයකි. මෙරටට සර්වජන ජන්ද බලය ලැබීමෙන් අනතුරුව මෙතෙක් පවත්වා ඇති ජාතික හා ප්‍රාදේශීය මට්ටමේ මැතිවරණ සංඛ්‍යාව 74 ක් පමණ වේ. වසර 2015 වන තෙක්ම මෙරටේ මැතිවරණ පැවැත්වීමේ බළධාරීත්වය දරන ලද්දේ මැතිවරණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවයි. අනතුරුව මැතිවරණ කොමිෂන් සභාව ස්ථාපිත කරන ලදි. එකී කොමිසම එළඹෙන නොවැම්බර් මස 13 වැනි දින තම කාල සීමාව අවසන් කිරීමට නියමිතය. එබැවින් මෙහි පළවන්නේ මැතිවරණ ප්‍රචණ්ඩ ක්‍රියා නිරීක්ෂණ මධ්‍යස්ථානය (CMEV) මෙරටේ විධිමත් මැතිවරණ පැවැත්වීම ඇරඹුණු සමයේ පටන් අද දක්වා මැතිවරණ පැවැත්වීමේ වගකීම උරදැරූ නිළධරයන් අදාළ ධූර දැරූ කාල සීමා දක්වමින් සකස්කරන ලද දළ සැකසුමකි.

Download Infographic in here

Parliamentary Election 2020 – Media coverage on CMEV Election Observation Process

The media is a stakeholder that can never be excluded in any country in which democratic elections are conducted. Regardless of whether the media entity is conventional and mainstream or alternative and new, media behavior indisputably affects the integrity of any election. Continued election observation undertaken by the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) over several decades in Sri Lanka has strongly proven that the role of the media in the electoral process in the country is decisive.

While there is an ongoing discussion concerning the role of the media in this country, what is of utmost significance is establishing practices where the strong connectivity between the media and elections can be considered together, rather than allowing the media to be considered as a factor detached from the electoral process.

Accordingly, the objective of this small booklet designed and published by CMEV is to provide a glimpse of the nature of reporting carried out by mainstream newspapers during the election period. This reporting carried news and perspectives on the election to voters as the campaign unfolded. Sri Lankan newspapers have wide and increasing circulation across the country and thus have the power of informing and shaping the views of society, across any issue connected to elections. What is collated in this publication is the perspectives of a diverse range of newspapers having such circulation during the election.

පාර්ලිමේන්තු මැතිවරණය 2020 – මැතිවරණ ප්‍රචණ්ඩ ක්‍රියා නිරීක්ෂණ මධ්‍යස්ථානය හා සබැඳි මාධ්‍ය වාර්තාකරණය 

ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රීය  භාවිතයක් සහිත මැතිවරණ ක්‍රමවේදයක් අනුදත් කවර රාජ්‍යයක හෝ මාධ්‍ය යනු කිසිලෙසකත් බැහැර කල නොහැකි පාර්ශ්වකරුවෙකි. සම්ප්‍රදායික හෝ නව මාධ්‍ය වේවා එකී කවර මාධ්‍යයක හෝ හැසිරීම නිසැකව ම මැතිවරණයේ සුපිළිපන්නබව කෙරෙහි බලපෑමක් ඇති කරන්නේය. මෑත කාලීනව ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ද මැතිවරණ ක්‍රියාවලිය තුළ දිස්වන මාධ්‍ය භූමිකාව අතිශය තීරණාත්මක බව මැතිවරණ ප්‍රචණ්ඩ ක්‍රියා නිරීක්ෂණ මධ්‍යස්ථානය (CMEV) අඛණ්ඩව සිදුකරමින් තිබෙන මාධ්‍ය නිරීක්ෂණ හමුවේ තහවුරු වන කරුණකි.

එකී මාධ්‍ය හැසිරීම පිලිබඳව  දැනටමත් මෙරටේ යම් සමාජ කථිකාවක් නිර්මාණය වෙමින් තිබෙන අතර වඩාත් වැදගත් සාධකය වන්නේ මාධ්‍ය තවදුරටත් මැතිවරණ ක්‍රියාවලියෙන් වියුක්ත සාධකයක් ලෙස නොසලකා මැතිවරණ කෙරෙහි එහි පවත්නා අවියෝජනීය සබඳතාව වඩාත් සවිමත් වන ආකාරයේ භාවිතාවක් වෙත අවතීර්ණ වීමයි.  

එහිලා මැ.ප්‍ර.නි. මධ්‍යස්ථානය මඟින් ප්‍රකාශිත මෙම කුඩා ප්‍රමාණයේ ප්‍රකාශනයෙහි අරමුණ වන්නේ සම්ප්‍රදායික එනම් මුද්‍රිත මාධ්‍ය මැතිවරණ සමයේ සිදුකරන ලද වාර්තාකරණයේ හැඩරුව පිලිබඳ මැතිවරණ කෙරෙහි ආශක්ත පිරිස වෙත යම් හැඟීම් මාත්‍රයක්  ලබා දීමයි. ජන්දදායකයන් දැනුම්වත් කිරීම මතු නොව මැතිවරණ හා සබැඳි ඕනෑම ආකාරයක තේමාවක් පිලිබඳ සමාජය අවදි කිරීමෙහිලා පුවත්පත් සතු අසහාය බලයට අභියෝග කිරීම එතරම් පහසු කාර්යයක් නොවේ. මෙකී ප්‍රකාශණය තුළින් ද විද්‍යමාන වන්නේ මෙරටේ ප්‍රචලිත විවිධ මට්ටමේ පුවත්පත් මැතිවරණය කෙරෙහි දක්වා ඇති ආකල්පයෙහි හරස්කඩකි.

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Final Report on Estimated Election Cost Monitoring: Parliamentary Election 2020

We are pleased to present you the final report prepared by the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) on estimated election campaign costs of the Parliamentary.

CMEV has stated from the outset that one of the urgent electoral reforms in the country should be to set up a legal mechanism to regulate election-related expenditure in the country. To this end, one of the decisive factors that must necessarily be there is the relevant evidence-based data.

Accordingly, for the first time in the electoral history of the country, CMEV has released a detailed report on the estimated election campaign cost incurred by candidates, political parties and independent groups contested the Parliamentary Election 2020.

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CMEV Election Observation Report – Parliamentary Election 2020

CMEV is pleased to present its final Election Observation Report for the 2020 Parliamentary Election. The report provides an overview of the election overall; key election features and trends; a summation of CMEV’s election observation activities; trends in election violations it finds notable; and recommendations for all election stakeholders to strengthen and improve the election process in Sri Lanka.

It also provides detail, data and tabulations on election violations observed and recorded by CMEV during the pre-election, Election Day and post-election periods; as well as the communiqués and materials CMEV published throughout the election period.

Download the Report in English here