An extraordinary gazette notification containing the Code of Conduct for contesting political parties, independent groups and candidates of the elections has been published.
The Election Commission said the relevant Code of Conduct is issued in terms of Section 8(8) of the Parliamentary Elections Act, No. 1 of 1981 as amended by the Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Act, No. 58 of 2009.
Download Code of Conduct for Contesting Political Parties/Independent Groups And Candidates of the Elections in Sinhala / Tamil / English
ANFREL and six domestic election observation groups, including ANFREL members PAFFREL and CMEV, release today the “COVID-19 Code of Conduct for Election Observers” ahead of the 2020 Sri Lankan parliamentary elections.
This document is a joint initiative from organizations both domestic and international intending to observe the parliamentary elections of Sri Lanka. The polls were initially scheduled for 25 April 2020 but have been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting the country. While the date at which the elections could be held remains uncertain, pending a ruling from the Supreme Court on the matter, election monitoring organizations have decided to plan ahead and draft guidelines so that election observation may take place in the most responsible manner.
This document first provides an overview of some of the interventions made by CMEV in this period. It also details media coverage of CMEV’s activities and interventions. Finally, the document provides a snapshot of activity on CMEV’s official website and Facebook pages, as indicators of CMEV’s online operations during this period.
The Sri Lanka Parliamentary Election was scheduled to be held on 25 April 2020 but was postponed due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a timeline of the events that transpired in the last few months regarding the election and COVID-19 crisis situation in the country:
CMEV presents the national lists of persons submitted by each political party and independent group to Election Commission for the Parliamentary General Election 2020 (under article 99 A of the Constitution). 29 out of 225 seats in Parliament are allocated to political parties and independent groups in proportion to their share of the national vote. The names of the candidates to contest under each electoral district that was submitted during the nomination period (to fill the remaining 196 seats) will also be uploaded soon.
This short guide has been prepared by CMEV to offer election stakeholders and voters a brief overview of some key considerations for holding an election during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It provides an outline of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected elections worldwide; special health and safety measures taken for elections already held worldwide; and important factors to note in the SriLankan electoral context. It is hoped that these considerations are taken into account by all election stakeholders when decisions are made regarding the Parliamentary General Election in Sri Lanka.
All active election observation missions in Sri Lanka, including CMEV, have issued a joint statement urging all relevant authorities to resolve their issues regarding a new election date with the mutual understanding of not creating a constitutional crisis against the backdrop of COVID19
The joint statement points out that:
It is undesirable to head into an election with the Election Commission and the Executive at odds with each other
An environment of relief provision to those affected by crisis is not ideal for an election campaign as it can be exploited by candidates for their own political gain, as can already be seen
The National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak and health authorities must confirm that the new election date will not put voters and election officials at risk