Delaying elections sets a bad precedent – PAFFREL

The People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections said that it is disappointing to note that Sri Lankan authorities have not taken action to call for the Local Government Elections which have been delayed for over eight months, with no justifiable reason.

They had expressed their concerns over the matter in a letter to Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

The People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections notes that of the Rs. 10 Billion that was requested by the Election Commission to conduct the Local Government Election, a sum of Rs. 1 Billion had already been spent for the preliminary efforts of the said election.

It added that if the election for which nominations were also called is not held for whatever reason, it can be considered a waste of Rs. 1 Billion in public funds.

In the letter to the Prime Minister, PAFFREL questions whether it is justifiable to waste public funds in such a manner, at a time when the country is going through a very serious economic crisis.

PAFFREL pointed out that it is disappointing that the priority given to welfare and development activities is not given to elections so that the mandate guaranteed by the constitution can be executed.

Pointing out that only 3.7% of the money allocated in the budget will be spent on conducting a fair and free election, PAFFREL noted that indefinitely delaying the opportunity given to the people to exercise their franchise, sets a negative precedent.

Therefore, they request that the Prime Minister to take the necessary measures to release money to the Election Commission and hold the local government polls as planned, in order to secure the people’s franchise.