* Sri Lanka election monitors record high levels of state resource abuse during election campaign
Mon, Dec 29, 2014, .
Dec 28, Colombo: An official election monitor in Sri Lanka, People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) says abuse of state resources for election purposes in 2015 presidential election has increased dramatically compared to the 2010 election.
A total of 150 violations relating to the Abuse of State Power, Resources & Misuse of State Sector Employees for election purposes have been reported to PAFFREL during the first 35 days of the pre-election period.
In contrast, during the entirety of the 68 day pre-election period of the 2010 Presidential Election, only 53 incidents relating to the misuse of state resources for campaign purposes were recorded.
The election monitor says the abuse of state resources for election purposes in this election is well organized and systematic with little or no regard for Electoral Laws.
“This is an indication of the level of impunity enjoyed by the parties to these violations.”
As at December 25th, the Western Province has 27 recorded violations in this category whilst the Southern Province has 24 violations. The Eastern and North Western Provinces have 16 violations each, whilst Uva and North Central Provinces have 13 and 12 violations each. The Northern Province has the lowest number of violations with only 4 being recorded in this category. Furthermore, 21 incidents that relate to the entire island have also been recorded in this category.
The incidents summary of electoral violations and violence maintained by PAFFREL shows that sub category, Abuse of State Power & Resources for Election Purposes, remains at the top of the overall category (Violations Relating to the Abuse of State Power, Resources & Misuse of State Sector Employees) with 38 incidents reported while sub category, Appointments, Transfers & Promotions for State Officials targeting the Election has a total of 36 incidents recorded. Use of State Officials & Security Sources for Election Campaign Purposes follows in third place with 32 incidents recorded. This is followed by Use of State Vehicles for Election Campaign Purposes which has 27 recorded incidents. Attempts influencing State Officials remains at the bottom of the list with 17 incidents being reported.
During the run up to the 2010 Presidential Election, a total of 757 cases of Electoral Law/General Law violations (both confirmed and unconfirmed) were recorded for the entirety of the pre-election period of 68 days. In the 2015 Election, with nearly two weeks to actual Election Day, over 500 (both confirmed and unconfirmed) incidents have already been recorded by PAFFREL in the first 35 days of the pre-election period
ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka