Go to the polling booths early – Elections Commissioner elaborates

Go to the polling booths early – Elections Commissioner elaborates

Written by Bella Dalima

07 Jan, 2015 | 8:58 pm

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has called on all citizens to got to their polling booths early, exercise their franchise and support the holding of a peaceful election.

Speaking at a media briefing convened on Wednesday morning on the presidential election, Deshapriya said that he had 100 percent confidence, that a free and fair election would be held.

At the media briefing convened today, Deshapriya also elaborated on the voting process.

Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya said;

A false ballot paper in which the information of candidates has been changed, is being circulated. So we published a notice in the newspapers today, depicting the ballot paper and the names and symbols of the candidates. You can cast preferential votes, by marking the numbers one, two and three, in the box beside the name and symbol of the candidates. If you do not wish to mark preferences, then you need only mark the usual X in the box next to the name and the symbol of the candidate of their choice.

The Elections Commissioner also reiterated his commitment to holding a free and fair election.

Meanwhile, the Elections Commissioner said that the Inspector General of Police, is yet to make any request seeking the assistance of the armed forces to provide security during the election process.

He said;

The IGP is yet to make a request from me, seeking that the Army be deployed for security while polling is underway. I had discussions with the Army Commander yesterday too. When I asked him, he too noted that there had been no special deployments. But, I have received a complaint and a copy of alleged stand-by orders that were issued to the Commanders, requesting them to be prepared to deploy personnel to certain police stations if required. I have received complaints of the same. I will take the appropriate steps with regard to this. At the same time, we have deployed the STF to certain areas. The STF reports directly to the IGP, the DIG in charge of Elections and the police officers in charge of the various divisions, districts and provinces. The police department and the STF will not allow any acts of thuggery.

The Elections Commissioner also spoke on the use of minimal force.

Now, the police do not use that word ‘minimal force’. Sufficient force is the word. They must shoot below the knee, or in the head if someone tries to come to the polling booth and grab the ballot boxes. If anyone wants to see what the police and our determination of minimal force is, then tell them to try to go to a polling booth and steal the ballot papers or boxes. Then he will be able to see what manner of force will be used, but he will not be able to say what it was in this place.

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