Report of CMEV field visit to Vavuniya, 30th July 2009

The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) made a fact finding visit to
Vavuniya from 23-24th July to assess the situation there with regard to the Urban
Council Election on 8 May 2009. CMEV met with political party leaders, candidates, the
Assistant Election Commissioner, Police, members of the Bar Association, Chamber of
Commerce, Civil Society leaders, activists and members of the general public.
One hundred and thirty five (135) candidates from six political parties and three
independent groups are contesting the election for the 11 seat Vavuniya Urban Council.

Most of the political parties engage in house to house visits, pocket meetings and
campaigning in vehicle convoys using loudspeakers. Posters and cutouts of all political
parties except the Sri Lanka Progressive Front and independent groups can be seen
almost everywhere.

Download the full report here.

Report of CMEV field visit to Jaffna, 30th July 2009

The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) visited Jaffna from the 19 -22 July
2009 in the lead up to elections for the Jaffna Municipal Council which will be held on
the 8th of August 2009. CMEV will monitor the elections to the Jaffna Municipality
throughout the campaign and on the Election Day through the deployment of Field
Monitors, Polling Booth Monitors on Election Day as well as Mobile Teams. During the
visit CPA met with political party leaders, candidates, the GA and the Assistant
Commissioner of Elections, leading civil society actors including religious leaders, the
media, the business sector, lawyers, representatives from the fishing community,
academics and university students.

Read the report in full here.

Final Report on election related violence: Central & North Western Province

The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) commenced its monitoring for the Central and North Western Provincial Council Elections on 10th January 2009. CMEV focused its monitoring on election related malpractices, irregularities and incidents of electoral violence in three phases:

1. Campaign
2. Polling Day
3. Post election violence

CMEV monitoring is founded on the belief that the electoral process is the basic mechanism for choice and change in a functioning democracy. Furthermore, political parties bear a responsibility for protecting the integrity of the electoral process through their choice of candidates and electoral practices. Individual candidates, likewise. Accordingly, the integrity of the electoral process is of pivotal importance for the legitimacy of the governance and government that it produces. Electoral violence and malpractice and discrimination in favor of any political party or section of the electorate will erode public trust and confidence.

The basic modus operandi of CMEV is the deployment of monitors in the field attached to each of the relevant Polling Divisions in a District. They report back to the CMEV Secretariat for the further corroboration of information pertaining to electoral violence and malpractice. The Secretariat releases the information to the public through the media after this further process is completed.

Overall, in the elections to the two Provincial Councils, there was a sizeable decrease in the number and nature of incidents, especially on Election Day. There were however, a number of incidents reported during the campaign that adversely affected the environment for conducting a free and fair election.

In these two elections, the highest number of complaints related to the disenfranchisement of voters on account of the lack of proper identification documents. This was also the case in the previous provincial council elections- the Eastern Provincial Council Election held on 10th May and North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Election held on 23rd August 2008.

CMEV consistently highlighted the issue and the importance of taking steps to rectify it. The problem however has persisted. Other issues identified are the misuse of public resources and biased print and electronic media coverage – mainly by the State media. This has become a common feature of elections held in Sri Lanka and is yet another reinforcement of the argument constantly advanced by CMEV regarding the urgency of the
full implementation of the 17th Amendment.

CMEV believes that the establishment of independent commissions for the Police, the Public Service and Elections amongst others provided for by this amendment, is necessary for the protection of the integrity of the electoral process. The Commissioner of Elections acted decisively in response to malpractices being confirmed at one Polling Station. The Commissioner declared the results of No. 47 Polling Station at P/ Nayakkarchenai Tamil Vidyalya in the Puttalam Polling Station (Puttalam District) null and void and ordered a re-poll in that station. CMEV welcomed the decision of the Commissioner of Elections and reiterates that it will serve as a strong precedent and effective deterrent against future electoral irregularities and malpractice. CMEV deployed a special team to monitor the re-poll and recorded 12 incidents of election related violence on the day of the re poll.

Read the report in full here as a PDF.

Final Report on election related violence: Sabaragamuwa and North Central Province

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.