The National Election Commission has warned against using places of worship for election propaganda.
In a statement issued today the Election Commission said that it is in receipt of complaints regarding election propaganda activities being carried out at places of worship for the purpose of the Parliamentary election scheduled on 2020.08.05.
A large number of complaints in this regard have been received from the districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Hambantota and Ampara in particular.
In terms of Section 79 of the Parliamentary Elections Act, No. 1, of 1981., anyone who carries out propaganda activities at a place of worship or utters at any religious assembly any words for the purpose of promoting/demoting the election or the election campaign of any political party/independent group candidate, shall be guilty of the offence of undue influence.
The Election Commission requested the clergy to be kind enough not to permit places of worship to be used for the purpose of promoting/demoting any political party/independent group or candidate and also to abstain from carrying out any activity that promotes/demotes any party/independent group or candidate during the election
Moreover, all authorized agents, group leaders, candidates and political activists of all political parties/ independent groups have been requested to abstain from holding meetings at places of worship for the promotion of any political party/independent group or candidate and from allowing anyone to do anything including expressing at any religious assembly views for the purpose of promoting/ demoting any party / independent group or candidate.
In the event of any promotion/demotion of any party/independent group or candidate as aforesaid, the Election Commission requests the general public to bring it to the notice of the nearest Police Station, District Election Complaint Management Unit or the National Election Complaint Management Centre established at the Election Commission. (Colombo Gazette)