Polls chief expects foreign monitors

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya expects foreign monitors to be present for the Northern Provincial Council Elections in September.

Addressing the media today, Deshapriya said that it is an accepted international practice for foreign monitors to be present at key elections.

He noted that there is no law that foreign monitors should be or should not be invited for local elections.

“Since this is the first election being held for the Northern Provincial Council it is reasonable for someone to ask for international monitors. Disregarding such requests is not right even though there is no law that says international monitors are a must. Someone can then ask why not have international monitors when it was done before,” he said.

Deshapriya said that the final decision on who can be invited is taken by the Elections Commissioner in consultation with the political parties.

Meanwhile he also said that the Elections Department has estimated Rs. 1500 million as the cost to conduct the three provincial council elections in September.

He said that with the electricity tariffs going up the cost to hold the election has also increased.

The Elections Commissioner also said that between August 5 to August 31 election campaigning will be banned close to examination centres during the Advanced Level exam and year five scholarship exams. (Colombo Gazette)

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