The Commonwealth observer group says that as a whole, the campaign environment is generally conducive for a democratic election. At a special press briefing held on Wednesday (12) the Commonwealth Observer Group’s Chairperson Dr. George Abela mentioned that they are ‘quite optimistic’ about the country’s situation. However, he also expressed that the group will be constantly vigilant.
“Sri Lanka is well placed to hold a democratic election that enjoys the confidence of the people. We would like to encourage all eligible voters to exercise their franchise,” said Abela.
The chairman opined that their mandate is to assess the pre-election period, activities on polling day and the post-election period. He also stressed on the fact that the role of the Commonwealth Observer Group is to observe the process as a whole but not to supervise the election.
“Our task is to assess whether the elections were conducted in accordance with the standards to which Sri Lanka has committed itself, including the Constitution, national laws also international commitments including Commonwealth principles.” said Abela.
Two advance observers of the Commonwealth Observer Group have already witnessed the campaign activities outside of Colombo. The team will be deployed to five provinces.
An interim report will be issued shortly after the election day followed by a final report which will be first sent to the Commonwealth Secretary- General and then to other relevant officials.
The Observer group of the Commonwealth consists of nine eminent persons and a staff team of five members who arrived in the country on the invitation extended by the Commissioner of Elections.