Elections monitoring bodies said last week that candidates were in favour of campaigning on common platforms at village levels at the forthcoming Local Government elections.
Polls monitor, People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) said that while they had upon invitation made submissions to the Cabinet-Sub-Committee on the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Act, No. 22 of 2012, they were presently involved with meeting leaders of political parties and independent groups to insist on making public the criterion adopted by the parties in selecting and giving nominations to candidates.
Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi said that common boards could also be used since the majority of the clashes among candidates occur during promotional and propaganda campaigns.
He added that a national campaign is presently being mooted for purposes of educating the voters and to pressurize especially the district organizers of the political parties.
“While we commend the move of the appointment of the Cabinet-Sub-Committee, this should not be an excuse to postpone the local elections. The selection of candidates this time around will be 100% with the parties,” he said.
“There is no choice for the voters. It is two individuals from one village who will be contesting and most of the others in the village would be relatives and friends and parties known to them. Instead of having a competition, they can contest on one platform. The electors too are in favour of this,” Hettiarachchi claimed.