Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) and People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) expressed displeasure for allowing several candidates to contest the forthcoming general elections. CaFFE Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon accused the President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for not keeping their word when they endorsed the March 12 declaration. He mentioned that it is very unfortunate to see nominations been given to those people who are well known for corruption and therefore not suitable to contest the elections.
“President and the Prime Minister are solely responsible for the current situation. They reiterated the fact that that they are for clean politics and nominations will not be given to the corrupt politicians. However it is for the people to decide who should be elected,” He said. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi expressed that they expected the political parties to stand by what they signed on March 12. “This culture has been in force for many decades. We cannot expect them to adhere to the new system fully in such a short time. But a value was added when the party leaders endorsed it,” said Hettiarachchi. He reveled that the election monitoring bodies have collectively agreed to distribute one million score cards to assist the voters to select the most suitable candidate. March 12 declaration was signed by all the political party leaders, including the Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, which was then handed over to the President. It contains a set of recommendations to be included in the proposed code of conduct. National Polls Observations Center, convener, Rasanga Harischandra talking to The Nation mentioned that they received 17 cases related to election violence, 41 cases of misuse of state property and also several complaints have been made with regard to illegal appointments. He further mentioned that such appointments were made especially with regard to the Ministry of Health.