Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces that election observers from the Commonwealth and The European Union (EU) will arrive in the country within the next two weeks. At a press briefing held on Thursday (30), it was disclosed that an observer group of the Commonwealth consists of nine eminent persons and a staff team of five members are scheduled to arrive in the country in the next several days, on the invitation extended by the Commissioner of Elections.
The European Union will also deploy an Observer Mission for the forthcoming General Elections. “A group consisting of eight members of the international experts of the EU Election Observer Mission (EOM) arrived in Sri Lanka on the 14th of July, 18 arrived on 19th of July and 28 observers will arrive on the August 10,” said Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne.
The Commonwealth Group will be headed by former President of Malta, Dr. George Abela, and it consists of members from Malaysia, India, Australia, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Kenya, Trinidad and Tobago, and Nigeria.
For the Presidential Election held in January this year, Commonwealth group headed by former President of Guyana Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo was in the country for election observation.
The Chief Observer of the EU Election Observer Mission (EOM), Cristian Dan Preda, Member of the European Parliament from Romania, arrived on the 20th of July. EU Election Observers were also present previously in the country at the elections held in 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2005.
However, the Ministry Spokesperson mentioned that deployment of observers for the upcoming election does not fall into the Ministry’s purview but it falls under the jurisdiction of Commissioner of Elections. “We only facilitate matters related to visas for the travel of election observers to the country and to ensure that it is provided through Sri Lanka’s Missions overseas,” she said.