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Ensure free fair and peaceful election: EC Chairman’s appeal to presidential aspirants

Mahinda Deshapriya

Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya has appealed to all presidential aspirants to ensure a free, fair and peaceful election.’

He was addressing presidential aspirants after they handed in their nominations at the Election Commission Secretariat In Rajagiriya on Monday.

He said:

“We request the candidates, their supporters and members of the public to ensure that the campaign and election are conducted in a free, fair and peaceful manner.

A breach of election laws will be dealt with sternly. The Presidential Election Act makes provision on how to deal with illegal activities during an election period. The Police Department has been apprised of these laws and they will act to stop any violations. Some of the offences carried penalties which include disqualification from the election as well as the loss of one’s civic rights.

The Gazette notification published by the EC on 19 September 2019 lays out directions to prevent the misuse of movable or immovable property belonging to the State, State Corporations or Statutory Boards during the period of an election for the promotion of or in prejudice to any party, group or candidate or obstructing the conduct of the election and requested all public officials to strictly adhere to them.

The only political right public officials have is the right to cast their vote. They cannot engage in any other political activity. I request all public officials to abide by the directions given to them by the EC and also request all candidates not to entice any public official to act in violation of election laws.

The foundation of a democratic society rests on the right of the people to choose their representatives through the ballot. This right must be guaranteed to all citizens without any form of discrimination. We must ensure it is done in a free and fair manner. To ensure this we need the cooperation of all.”

 

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