The independent election monitors, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) and People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) have complained to the Election Commission that the governors who were representatives of the President were misusing their powers and resources in the respective Provincial Councils to promote the SLPP candidate. Since the Provincial Council elections were not held, the Governors are entrusted with the task of looking after the Provincial Councils and also chair Provincial Public Service Commissions.
CMEV has reported on A.J.M Muzammil, Peshala Jayarathna and Hemal Gunasekara, Governors of Western, North Western and Southern Provinces respectively, to the Election Commission for action. PAFFREL has reported that four Governors were violating election law.
The present election law specifically states that officials are prohibited from engaging in any poll related campaign activity.
Central Province Governor Keerthi Tennakoon, who previously headed the election monitoring organisation CaFFE said, he would think it was unethical for a Governor to support any candidate while holding office. “I would not do that,” he said.
However, he said he was not sure if the law specifically prohibited the governors from engaging in campaign work outside their Province, adding that it needs to be looked into.
“Personally I think the Election Commission has bigger concerns to focus on, such as, the cost incurred by the tax payer due to 13 dummy candidates being in the fray,” he said adding the governors’ matter should be discussed and sorted out by the Election Commission without dragging it before the media.