Elections monitoring bodies called on the Sri Lanka Freedom Party to prepare the code of conduct for its Local Government contestants soon and arrive at a consensus to establish a mechanism to monitor whether the code was being adhered to.
General Secretary of the Party, Minister Duminda Dissanayake recently stated that the Party’s Central Committee on the advice of President Maithripala Sirisena had decided to introduce the said code for those who would be given nominations to contest on the Party ticket.
Polls monitor, the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) noted however that the move to bring about a code of conduct while being commendable was not a substitute for the more important declaration of the criteria to be adopted by the Party in the selection of candidates for nominations.
Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi explained that a code was not a law and that those with the temperament to seriously abide by such a code should initially be chosen to contest.
“Discipline and intelligence are paramount. Thieves don’t possess the capacity to follow such a code. This is why we are pressurizing the political parties and independent groups to reveal the criterion used by them in the selection process. This is of particular importance as the voters doing the electing don’t have a choice this time around due to the new electoral system,” Hettiarachchi said.