Elections monitoring bodies have announced that an island-wide campaign to create a public discourse to demand that political parties adopt criteria based on qualities and qualifications for the nomination of candidates at polls would be launched soon.

Polls monitor, People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) explained that political parties had informed them that since they had to practically field the winning horse based on the demand of the public in terms of candidates who could contest and win at an election, the matter overrode concerns about qualities and qualifications.  Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi said that it was of utmost importance that a public demand be created requiring that parties field those with qualities and qualifications.

He noted that civil society organizations, trade unions, religious society personnel and artistes would be involved in the said campaign and movement.

“Those who have traditionally voted for the United National Party or the Sri Lanka Freedom Party can hereby send a strong message to the party leaders that if the parties did not consider qualities and qualifications as criterion for providing nominations to candidates, then they would refrain from voting for such candidates. A social and people’s opinion must be created to this effect,” he said.