Polls monitors will commence a district-wise campaign which will be carried out island-wide from March next year with regard to creating a public consensus concerning the criterion to be adopted by political parties when nominating candidates for the Local Government polls.
“It is a noted fact that electorate and seat organizers of political parties wield more power in relation to selecting and proposing candidates to contest local government elections as opposed to national level leaders of political parties”, Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi said.
Although the Government has announced that the elections would be held next year, People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) explained that political parties are yet to make public the criteria adopted for nominating candidates.
Hettiarachchi further said that the movement would embark with meetings at the district level at which stakeholders including district-level trade unions, civil society organizations, the business community including wholesale and retail establishments and corporate entities, members of the clergy and other influential individuals and groups would meet the political authority of the area.
It has been suggested that a meeting be initially convened with all stakeholders sans the political authority and the expected criterion decided upon, subsequent to which the criterion chosen would be handed over to the relevant political authorities and the latter then granted a period of time to peruse it.
In turn they are required to come up with their own positions and declare their stance on the criterion and make a pledge in this regard at a district level public meeting convened with all stakeholders including the relevant political authority.
“Voters at the district level should vote for the candidates who fit the criterion they (voters) expect regardless of the clout of the political party or independent group they represent,” Hettiarachchi said.