President tells forum elections in Sri Lanka are now free and fair

President Maithripala Sirisena says the Government has taken steps to establish a strong foundation for free and fair elections in the country through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

The President made the remarks while participating in the inauguration ceremony of the Asian Electoral Stakeholders Forum held in the Galadari Hotel, Colombo, today.

Expressing his views the President further said that, the objective of the present Government is to ensure democracy in the country by holding elections in a free and fair manner.

President Sirisena recalled that prior to January 08, 2015, the election system in Sri Lanka was corrupt.

He said that today Sri Lanka is a country which has a strong democratic foundation and according to reports Sri Lanka has reached a high position among Asian countries when considering the impartiality of the judiciary.

The President also said that the Elections Commission has been empowered to conduct impartial and free and fair elections.

In order to secure the broad establishment of democracy and security when holding elections within the region, the Asian Electoral Stakeholder Forum is held to come in to terms with a common agreement which can influence the active stakeholders within Asia and outside the region.

This Conference creates a platform to hold a broad discussion on the elections and democracy within the region where it can be considered as a broad collection of the region connected with elections.

Invitees from 45 countries were present at the conference held under the theme, “A Collective effort for a broad establishment of democracy and security in election with transparency of excellence and order” where more than 15 Asian Regional Electoral Commissions, more than 100 election monitoring organizations worldwide, a number of foreign Embassies and High Commissions in Sri Lanka, Governmental and Non-Governmental organizations, United Nation and Inter–Regional agencies were present.

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