The Local Authorities Election which is to be held for the election of members in the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha (Divisional Council) in Galle district, will be held today, the 11th of October 2019, involving 47 polling centers.
155 candidates will be contesting to represent five (5) recognized political parties in this election.
26 local authority members will be elected by 53,384 qualified electors during this election and the results of which will be announced at the counting center established at the vocational training center of Elpitiya, followed by counting of votes undertaken at the respective polling centers themselves.
The specialty of this particular election is, failing to commence the election in this district in tandem with the election held in all other local authorities on the 10th of February 2018 owing to the ruling 12/2018 that was given by the court in conjunction with the returning officer of Galle District refusing the nominations submitted by one of the contesting political parties.
The Centre For Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), initiated in 1997, has contributed to the electoral reforms through a thorough election observation process.
The institution created a database of election results and information about violence perpetrated in a variety of elections (such as presidential, general and provincial). Once the Election Commission announced the commencement of elections, CMEV re-initiated its election observation mission on the 18th of September. The organisation has mobilised their operations for the upcoming Presidential Election slated for the 16th of November 2019.
CMEV held its residential training session for district/field monitors on 11th of October at the Janaki Hotel, Colombo 5. Almost 100 participants from all 25 administrative districts gained exposure to: Election Law, election observation process, contemporary political climate and the misuse of state resources.
Media Communique, 1500 H, 12th October 2019 in Colombo, Sri Lanka Elpitiya Local Authorities Election 2019
The Local Authorities Election was held on the 11th of October 2019 and involved 47 polling centers electing members of the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha in Galle, Southern Province.
One hundred and fifty –five (155) candidates contested representing five (5) political parties in the election. Twenty eight (28) local authority members, were elected by 53,384 eligible electors. The voter turnout was 75%.
This particular election was important because of the delay in holding it, due to the judicial proceedings which led to the court ruling of 12/2018 together with the incident of the Returning Officer, Galle District, refusing the nominations submitted by one of the contesting political parties.
Election day ended without any critical incidents of election-related violence and misconduct. Moreover, the pre-election period remained peaceful and does not challenge the final result.
CMEV monitors have reported the following minor violations:
Polling center designated at Omaththa Kanishta Vidyalaya, Galle (02:A)
Posters and other promotional material displayed at either side of the road of the polling center throughout the Election Day. Several candidate posters representing the main political party candidates (UNP, SLPP and SLFP) had reportedly been on display.
Polling Center designated at Thalgaspe Kanishta Vidyalaya (05:B)
CMEV learned that a female had been coercing the people to vote for SLPP near the polling center. She had encouraged voters to cast their votes for the SLPP candidate Malliyawadu Nalin Chaminda Priyadarshana.
Polling Center designated at Ananda Madyamaha Vidyalaya, Elpitiya, Galle (11:C)
CMEV observers noted that a convoy of vehicles led by M.P. Palitha Thewarapperuma displayed promotional posters of certain candidates while traveling with few other candidates across several polling centers (The vehicles bore the registration
numbers: KR 6312, CAW6990,GZ 2665 and WP 21483). The presence of such a convoy of vehicles near the polling centers had been a challenge to the maintenance of a peaceful environment in a polling area.
Polling Center designated at Pinikahana Siriniwasa Kanishta Vidyalaya, Galle (16:A)
Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) candidate Jayaneththi Arachchi Janaka Kumara (candidate listed under the additional list), had been appealing the voters to vote for his party while standing near the polling center. A defender vehicle (registration number. P G 0007) was involved in this incident.
It is the eighth decade that’s being elapsed since Sri Lanka was bestowed with universal franchise. Apart from few instances, which took place in certain elections, Sri Lanka could boast of a proud history in terms of elections with a unique identity. If any electoral reform regardless of its model or approach, should take place following the tradition that reflects the Sri Lankan identity in elections. Not a single country in the world has formulated a perfect election system.
Accordingly, a certain level of regulation should be exercised on campaign finances with a proper understanding about the prevailing political background in the country. Hence a regulating mechanism should be formulated through a series of consultative discussions with the involvement of Election Commission, political parties, Election Observing Organizations and other stakeholders. The following points should be taken into account in such an undertaking that is carried out with the legal sphere.
Introducing fundamental requisites on assets and liabilities of political parties and candidates should become the basis to any regulatory mechanism.
Regardless of the nature of regulatory mechanism thus introduced, it should not distance the politician from the elector. It is essential to make sure that such a mechanism does not curtail the freedom of expression.
The politicians should be convinced that the money is received as a privilege for engaging in responsible politics. Accordingly it is important to discuss about the ways of refining the mechanism to be agreeable for both the politicians and the voters while considering the need for inculcating the useful best practices and elements of other systems adopted and recognized internationally.
Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) initiated a voter education programme called ‘Provincial Council Elections Voter Education and Outreach Programme’ with the support of USAID-DAI (SDGAP). The main focus is to invoke awareness for women candidates who are willing to contest in the next provincial councils elections to be held island-wide. CMEV is planning to conduct a series of district-level awareness workshops inviting selected prospective candidates across the country.
The Seventh in this series of workshops was conducted at Peradeniya University in Kandy. Over 70 women activists including women members of Local government, active supporters of political parties, women CSO leaders and selected students attended in this one day awareness training. Mr. Namal Thalangama, Deputy Commissioner of Elections, Kandy District was delivered the key note speech in this event. CMEV organised this event in partnership with the faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya.
A Civil Society Committee was brought together by the Centre for Motioning Election Violence (CMEV) and the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) to review the Provincial Council Election System and to make appropriate recommendations. The committee commenced reviewing the Provincial Council (Amendment) Election Act on the 1st of June 2018 and the released their report with recommendations within 2 months of commencing the task.
“As a civil society group committed to supporting our elected representatives to do the right thing, we respectfully submit that the Parliament should act to:
Immediately clear misunderstandings about the Mixed Member Proportional Representation Method,
Address the real issues concerning the method through suitable legislation, and
Conduct elections without delay for all relevant Provincial Councils whose terms have ended.”
The committee has already submitted a complete report with recommendations to the relevant parties including the Speaker of the Parliament, Minister of Provincial Councils & Local Government Faiszer Musthapha, as well as all main political party leaders. Ministry of Provincial Councils & Local Government has undertaken to submit this report for the consideration of Cabinet members on 07th August 2018.
Dr. P. Saravanamuttu, Executive Director of Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and the Co-convener of Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director of People’s Action for Free & Fair Elections (PAFFREL), Prof. Sudantha Liyanage, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Manjula Gajanayake, National Coordinator of Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) and Amar Gunatileke, Chief Executive Officer of Marga Institute attended the media conference on the 2nd of August 2018 at the Public Library Auditorium, Colombo 07.
Manjula Gajanayake, National Coordinator of CMEV on RanOneFM’s ‘7.17’.
He spoke about the criticism made by political parties and other relevant parties regarding the Local Government Election system which was applied for the recently concluded elections. Further he gave his insights with regard to the current situation on holding of Provincial Councils Elections. Additionally, he particularly mentioned on the Civil Society Review Committee of the New Provincial Councils Elections Act.