Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has directed that candidates contesting the upcoming General Election, provincial councilors or local government representatives should not be invited as chief guests or honored guests for State functions at national, provincial council or local government level during the period commencing from August 11 to August 18.

Issuing a letter, the Elections Commissioner has stressed that such persons should not be invited for opening ceremonies, foundation stone laying ceremonies or ceremonies conferring a particular project to the people. The directive also applies to other State organized functions countrywide, including religious functions.

The Elections Commissioner’s directive has been sent to all ministry secretaries, chief secretaries of provincial councils, district secretaries, secretaries to provincial council ministers as well as heads of all government departments and institutions.

Deshapriya has further noted that if it is found that any politician had participated for such functions in such a capacity and this had led to the promotion of a particular political party / candidate, the government official who organized the event will be held personally responsible.

The commissioner has said that the decision to issue the above directive was taken so as to ensure that no political parties / candidates / groups are left at a disadvantage due to efforts made by others to promote their political parties / candidates using such functions.