Observers from three international organizations are expected in the country to monitor the August 17 General Election. Speaking to journalists at the Elections Secretariat on Thursday (July 16), Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said monitors from the European Union (EU), the Commonwealth as well as SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) will be arriving to monitor the election.
According to the Elections Commissioner, the European Union was expected to send over 50 election observers. The EU’s advance team was due to arrive in Sri Lanka on Monday (July 20). Meanwhile, the Commonwealth is also due to send an observer group comprising 6-10 members. The Department of Elections has invited observers from SAARC and the organization would be sending about 30 members, it was disclosed.
Meanwhile, the European Union in a media release, stated its Election Observation Mission (EOM) would consist of a core team of eight election analysts and 18 long-term observers, who will be deployed to all Sri Lankan provinces, plus 28-short-term election observers deployed shortly before Election Day. Cristian Preda, Member of the European Parliament, will lead the EOM as Chief Observer.