Government urged not to use flyover for electioneering purposes

Transparency International Sri Lanka’s (TISL) election observation arm the Program for the Protection of Public Resources (PPPR) calls on the Government to ensure that the opening of the Rajagiriya Flyover is carried out in compliance with regulations issued by the Elections Commission of Sri Lanka to ensure that development projects are not used for electioneering purposes.

If the Rajagiriya flyover is to be opened ahead of the February 10 local government elections, it should be done without the participation of politicians to remain in compliance with the Commission’s regulations, Transparency International Sri Lanka said.

Circular No. LAE/2018/4B issued by the Elections Commission of Sri Lanka on 28th November 2017 as per provisions of Article 104 of the Constitution, states clearly that “the state should refrain from holding events such as festivals, exhibitions and opening ceremonies, which are paid for with state funds, as such events have been used during past elections by politicians to voice their political opinions possibly causing grievance to some candidates while promoting others”.

The PPPR fears that the opening of the Rajagiriya Flyover could be used in similar fashion as a platform to canvass votes and calls on the competent authorities to take measures which ensure expeditious delivery of vital infrastructure, whilst ensuring compliance with election laws. Circular No. LAE/2018/4B has been copied to the relevant law enforcement authorities including the Inspector General of Police. The PPPR encourages the police to act in accordance with this circular and strictly enforce election laws.

The PPPR wishes to re-iterate that the opening of the flyover can proceed prior to the election without the participation of politicians or representatives of political parties as this would be in compliance with the regulations set forth by the Elections Commission. TISL also calls on the public to be mindful during the election period and not to condone activities which are in violation of election laws. Incidents of misuse of public property during the election period can be reported to the PPPR on 071 135 0990 and via e-mail to [email protected]nka.org. (Colombo Gazette)

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