Written by Staff Writer
02 Apr, 2014 | 8:29 pm
Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya, says that any person whose name is on the electoral list can contest an election.
He made this statement at a media briefing convened on Wednesday, when questioned by a journalist on the matter of the Democratic Party Leader Sarath Fonseka, exercising his franchise at the recently-concluded provincial council poll.
“If a person whose civic rights have been annulled comes forward as a candidate for an election, what happens then?”
“Some matters have to be determined by the esteemed courts. I cannot say how a person, even a former prison inmate or anyone else can receive nominations.”
“Commissioner, can he vote at future elections?”
“Anyone whose name is on the electoral list can vote.”
“Can he come forward as a candidate?”
“Any person whose name is on the electoral list can vote and can contest an election too. But there is also the right to challenge this. If I take any steps regarding this, people will say that I am taking steps because he spoke against me.”
“That is the reason. It could be that I was called a scarecrow in order to anger me and incite a statement from me. I too was brought up close by. I am a man of the village. Not a boy of the village. We went to the same school and we bathed at the same beach, in the same village. Therefore, it is a little difficuilt to trap me. I will not get caught to this trap. If anyone lodges a complaint, I will make inquiries.”
Journalists also raised questions on the discovery of a ballot paper marked for the JVP, at a polling station in Matara, post-election.
“What happens is that at time voters go into the cubicle and leave the ballot paper elsewhere, or instead of putting it into the proper ballot box, they put it into one of the additional ballot boxes. There were instances in Colombo this time around where people tried to put ballot papers in the wrong box and officials intervened and directed them to the correct box.”
“Don’t you monitor the manner in which they vote?”
“That is the question, but all five or six officials at the polling station are engaged in some task or the other. We always come across one or two and when we find them we collect them and place them, in the ballot boxes before voting concludes. We need to introduce an SPO and put a stop to this. Inquiries are underway.”
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