The Department of Elections had received 237 complaints regarding election violations by Friday (July 17) evening, officials revealed. A total 104 of these complaints were related to illegal appointments and promotions at several government institutes. The department said that 19 cases of illegal election propaganda, 30 incidents of illegal posters, banners and cut-outs have also been recorded since the date of nominations. The Department had also received complaints with regard to media misuse as well as the misuse of public property.
National Polls Observations Center (NPOC) has received a total number of 181 complaints related to polls campaign and related incidents by July 17. “We have received 22 cases related to election violence, 93 cases of misuse of state property and 66 cases of illegal propaganda,” said NPOC Convener Rasanga Harischandra.
People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) have recorded a total number of 103 cases out of which 14 incidents were related acts of violence, 37 cases of violations related to abuse of state power and misuse of state sector resources and other violations recorded by them were at 52.
A total number of 261 incidents had been reported to Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE). They had received 168 complaints of misuse of public property, appointments and transfers during election period, 73 cases of illegal propaganda activities, 11 cases of damaging personal property, eight cases of assaults and threatening.
CaFFE Executive Director, Keerthi Tennakoon further mentioned that one murder incident from Moneragala district has also been reported to them.
Meanwhile, misuse of state property, especially in the likes of granting promotions, and the distribution of dry-rations, gas cylinders and alcohol which are a violation of election law, continues in attempts to win over voters.
With regard to how such incidents are handled, Rasanga Harischandra of the NPOC said the organization doesn’t have the authority to take action against wrongdoers. However, they do direct the reports about election violation incidents to the Elections Department.
CaFFE Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said a similar procedure was adopted by the organization, although depending on the type of violation, there are instances when CaFFE too has taken action against wrongdoers. Government institutions, Elections Department and the police also take action against any individual who is found guilty of violating election regulations.