(Pics courtesy CaFFE)

Supporters of most major political parties have engaged in illegal processions on the final day of handing over of nominations, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) alleged.

Issuing a media statement the election monitoring body expressed disappointment that despite the strict laws in place banning such processions, supporters of many major political parties still managed to flout all these laws.

The organization noted that illegal processions had been reported from Mannar, Vavuniya, Nuwara Eliya, Kurunegala, Polonnaruwa and Galle when nominations were handed in today.

A United National Party (UNP) candidate had allegedly conducted an illegal procession with the participation of over 120 vehicles in Mannar.

Several vehicle processions had been reported from Galle. Supporters of UNP candidate Vajira Abeywardena and United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) candidates Ramesh Pathirana and Krishantha Pushpakumara have allegedly carried out illegal vehicle processions.

UNP candidate Nalaka Colonne is alleged to have gone in a vehicle procession of about 20 vehicles after handing over nominations to the Kurunegala District Secretariat. Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) candidate Ranjith Padmasiri is also alleged to have taken part in a procession along with his supporters.

However, CaFFE did note that due to actions taken by police to remove illegal cutouts and other propaganda material in all districts yesterday, the handing over of nominations was conducted for the first time in history without the presence of illegal propaganda material. CaFFE also appreciated steps taken by police and Election Department officials to photograph those engaging in illegal processions so that they could be used as evidence.