Election monitors are all set to monitor the upcoming Presidential Election with greater focus on the Northern Province.
Director of People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) Rohana Hettiarachchi, said their organization would be deploying around 3,000 – 4,000 persons at polling stations from 7.00 am to 4.00 pm on election day with 352 mobile units functioning in 160 electorates.
“We will have 14 members from the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL). Most of them will be deployed in the northern and eastern parts of the country along with local monitors. They will be in Jaffna, Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Trincomalee”, he said.
|The head of the Mission Association of Asian Election Authorities, Elections Commissioner of Taiwan Dr. Dr. Wel-Ta Pan, Elections Commissioner of Bangladesh, Muhammed Sohul Hussein and Chief Electoral Officer of Afghanistan Dr. Daoub Ali Najafi were seen in a pensive mood at a press conference yesterday.
He added multi party units consisting of responsible members of the different political parties would also help sort out any problems or disputes which could arise at a different polling stations
Director of the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), Keerthi Tennekoon said 6,563 monitors would be deployed all-island and there would be close monitoring of the northern areas as there were various issues.
“This time we will be more focused on the Northern Province especially the Jaffna district. Most of the voters’ registers were not updated in many of the grama niladari divisions in Jaffna and the Wanni districts since 1986. As a result, many of the names were not included though they are eligible”, he said.
According to CaFFE the District Secretariat of Kilinochchi is functioning at a temporary venue with many shortcomings and thus, the civil administration in the area had not been established at an acceptable level.
“There seem to be many deficiencies in the voter registers in the Northern Province, compared to other provinces in the country”, he said.
The main problem is that the names of dead persons, persons who had left the area and settled in other areas and those who live abroad were not removed from the voter register. The names of almost all the young people above 18 years have not been included in the voter register.
He said there was a good chance the people recently resettled in places such as Kanagarayankulam, Mankulam, Sindi and Murrukkandi would not have an opportunity to exercise their franchise.
Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Director, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said monitors would be deployed at each polling station.
“More than 5,000 local monitors and around 20 international observers from Europe, North America, Australia and Nepal will be among them”. He added closer scrutiny would be paid to the north and the east.
Forty members of the Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA) including a number of Elections Commissioners from Asia will be acting as observers at the upcoming polls.
Dr. Paikiasothy said the mission would be headed by Dr. Wel-Ta Pan, Elections Commissioner of Taiwan. Elections Commissioners of Nepal, Kazakastan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan and Chief Electoral Officers of Afganistan and India would among the observers.
They will operate in all districts and only observing polling stations and counting of ballot papers. They would be submitting a report on the conduct of the elections to the Elections Commissioner.