We do not have the authority to disqualify a candidate based on citizenship – NEC

We do not have the authority to disqualify a candidate based on citizenship – NEC

We do not have the authority to disqualify a candidate based on citizenship – NEC

Written by Staff Writer

13 Nov, 2019 | 10:21 pm

COLOMBO(News 1st) – Today marks the fourth day of the fast that was launched by Venerable Dr. Inguruwatte Sumangala thero at Independence square. The thero launched this fast demanding SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa clarify his citizenship status.

Doctors visited Independence square this morning, to examine the thero’s medical condition. According to the News 1st correspondent, the thero rejected the medicine prescribed by the doctors.

Ven. Dr. Inguruwatte Sumangala Thero stated that he has already expressed what he has to say and that he is prepared to sacrifice his life for the betterment of the country. The thero who launched the fast last Sunday has not consumed any food or drink since last morning.

Several factions visited the thero today. Those present at Independence square expressed their opposition against the Chairman of the Self Employed Professional Three-Wheeler Association, Sunil Jayawardena who visited the premises.

 

Were the documents related to the citizenship of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, handed over to the National Election Commission?

A discussion in this regard, took place on the Satana political program last night when Attorney at Law Premanath C.Dolewaththe played a recording of a telephone conversation that took place between President’s counsel Ali Sabry and the chairman of National Election Commission.

Phone conversation

Ali Sabry PC: At around what time will the affidavit be uploaded?

Chairman of the Election Commission: I must contact Nalin for that. If not, we can give a statement along with a copy of an affidavit.

Ali Sabry PC: If we upload it, the matter will be solved.

Chairman of the Election Commission: Yes. If we should upload it.

Ali Sabry PC: We should upload everyone’s. This should be done in a transparent manner.

Chairman of the Election Commission: Yes. I will ask them to upload it.

Ali Sabry PC: Furthermore, I want to double-check something. With regard to an article published in The Telegraph. The article states that we met you on the 26th of August.

Chairman of the Election Commission: If it was a Monday, then that is correct.

Ali Sabry PC: Yes, it was a Monday, the 26th of August.

Chairman of the Election Commission: The commission meeting is on Monday.

Ali Sabry PC: Yes. It was during the commission meeting that we met you. It was then I handed over the documents to you.

Chairman of the Election Commission: Yes.

Ali Sabry PC- Yes. Consequently, you gave those documents to Professor Nalin and then you gave those documents to Professor Hool.

Chairman of the Election Commission: Yes.

Ali Sabry PC: So at that point, Professor Hool inspected those documents. You cannot disagree.

Chairman of the Election Commission: The Professor took those documents. We do not disagree with that. An article in this regard was published either on the Daily Mirror, Daily News or Sunday Observer. I remember well that there was an article on a Sunday newspaper, written in a decent manner. It was written to offend me.

Ali Sabry PC: Yes. It was written to offend you. The original documents were inspected properly.

Chairman of the Election Commission: The commission meeting took place that day. I informed that anyone can meet me during the meeting. There is a CCTV installed at my office. Therefore, anyone can see who visited our office. These are not secrets.

Ali Sabry PC: These are not secrets. These took place in public. Do you remember that he questioned the fake documents that were shared on social media?

Chairman of the Election Commission:  Yes. This was even published in the newspapers.

ELECTION COMMISSION CHAIRMAN’S RESPONSE

Following this revelation at Satana, News 1st team inquired about this matter from the Chairman of the Election Commission, Mahinda Deshapriya.

Mahinda Deshapriya, Chairman of the Election Commission:

“Any candidate, politician or lawyer can meet us. We asked them to meet us. We spoke about matters like the laws, the voter lists, and eligibility. A certificate of dual citizenship was provided.

We took a glance. I handed this over to him, then he had a look. It was then handed over to the professor, he inspected both sides and we returned it. It would have been in my hand for 30 seconds, in his hands for a minute, and in the professor’s hand for a couple of minutes as he inspected both sides.

No one checked whether it was authentic or provided a certification regarding it. Our stance is, we are not interested. Our interest is regarding the provisions of the act in terms of disqualifying nominations.  The act does not state dual citizenship as a criterion for disqualification. That is ineligibility. We do not have the authority to disqualify. That should be done by the court.

We are disappointed that someone decided to drag us into this, when this is an issue pertaining to dual citizenship, claiming that this was shown to us and that we said it was authentic. If they have it, why not show it? Why did they say they showed it to us and say that we endorsed it? We have not provided any endorsement to anyone.”

Another Court Case

Meanwhile, the Activist Gamini Viyangoda and Professor Chandragupta Thenuwara filed a special appeal with the Supreme Court today(November 13) requesting the Court of Appeal ruling on the petition filed challenging the Sri Lankan Citizenship of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, be made void.

They claim the ruling given by a three-judge bench including the Court of Appeal President on the 04th October, dismissing their petition was in violation of the law.

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