Sri Lanka will be hosting the fourth biennial Asian Electoral Stakeholder Forum (AESF) in August next year, which will bring together all the election commissions of Asian countries, polls monitoring bodies, concerned civil society organizations and political parties.
The approval of the Election Commission, President Maithripala Sirisena and the Cabinet has been granted to this. A memorandum-of-understanding was signed in this regard between Chairman of the Election Commission, Mahinda Deshapriya and Executive Director of the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), Ichal Supriadi this week.
General Secretary of the ANFREL (which is a Member of the AESF) and Board Member of the AESF representing South Asia, Rohana Hettiarachchi said that the Forum sought to address challenges faced in the conduct of elections, adopt best practices and increase transparency in the process of holding elections. He added that clean politics and female participation too were on the agenda.
Elsewhere, Executive Director of the elections monitoring organization People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections and Convener of the March 12th Movement, Hettiarachchi condemned the recent behaviour and conduct exhibited by Provincial Councilors including in a particular instance the mace being broken in a fracas that had ensued during the sessions pertaining to the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution.