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.
Interview with Sunanda Deshapriya of the Free Media Movement (FMM) which is part of the CMEV, conducted at around 7.20pm today. Sunanda was in the East heading some of the CMEV monitoring efforts and was still in the field when this interview was conducted.
Listen to his interview streamed in Englishhere or download as a MP3 file by clicking this link.
Listen to his interview streamed in Sinhalahere or download as a MP3 file by clicking this link.