Presidential Elections 2010: Field Visit Report, December 2009

The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) visited selected areas of the North and East from 22 -25 December 2009 to identify the issues pertaining to the voter application process for displaced persons, the availability of required identification documents and the general context in which the campaign is being conducted. CMEV met with Government officials, political party representatives, leading civil society actors including religious leaders, the media, academics, and displaced persons.

  • CMEV notes with concern the number of applications – 31,758 – received by the Department of Elections as of 28th December. This figure could be lower since some applications may be rejected. CMEV calls on the Election Commissioner to ensure that every displaced voter who is registered in the 2008 Electoral Register will be able to vote. Considering the issues and confusion pertaining to the application process and given the assurances by senior election officials, CMEV urges the Election Commissioner to issue a special notice to the displaced voters enumerating the application procedure and requisite voter identity documentation, thereby ensuring that neither of these factors will inhibit the fullest exercise of the franchise by displaced persons. CMEV also urges the Commissioner and election officials to make sure that the displaced voters are aware of the location of cluster and special polling centres through their Grama Niladharis and Camp Officers.
  • CMEV calls on the media and civil society organizations to assist the Commissioner’s office as well as through initiatives of their own, on voter education.
  • CMEV calls upon the Commissioner and colleagues to establish an effective mechanism in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Transport Board to assure proper transportation facilities for displaced voters. CMEV urges the line ministry to consider this as a matter of priority and recommends that the Election Commissioner establish a special committee to look into the transportation arrangements.

Read the full report in English, Sinhala and Tamil.

Southern Provincial Council Election 2009: Interim Report

8th October 2009: CMEV has recorded a cumulative total of 95 incidents since its commenced monitoring. Of the total of 95 incidents, the number of Major incidents have gone up to 26 while 69 incidents have been categorized as Minor. The highest number of Major incidents have been reported from the Galle district – 14 out of 26. The total number of incidents reported to CMEV from the Galle district is 45.

For full report and details of these incidents, download the CMEV Interim Report.

Eastern Provincial Council Elections, May 2008 – Recommendations of CMEV

  • The conduct of the election clearly reinforces the urgency and pivotal importance of implementing the 17th Amendment to the Constitution in full.  This entails the reconstitution of the Constitutional Council and its nomination of members to independent commissions, including commissions for the Police, Elections and Public Service – all of which have key responsibilities for the conduct of free and fair elections.
  • The serious problems observed by monitors regarding the conduct of the Police and officials responsible for the conduct of a free and fair election demands this.
  • Political parties need to ensure that their Polling Agents are present in the Polling Stations and are not deterred in fulfilling their responsibilities by threat, intimidation and assault prior to Polling Day and on Polling Day.
  • The procedures agreed upon with regard to Voter identity and the required documentation with regard to this, must be clearly communicated to the officials in the Polling Stations and strict implementation ensured. IDs required for voting must be such that they cannot be easily forged.
  • Given the violence and malpractice that takes place outside of the Polling Station and the impact it has on the exercise of the franchise, procedures must be put in place to ensure that reports of these violations are taken into account when considering whether annulment and re – polling is necessary.
  • Steps should be taken to ensure that the detailed reports of election observers/monitors stationed in Polling Stations can be received by their organizations in time to be communicated to the Election Commissioner, before the counting of votes commences.