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Peaceful campaign, say election watchdog groups

Peaceful campaign, say election watchdog groups

Election watchdog groups observed that the run-up to the ‘Local Government Elections 2018’ was one of the most peaceful witnessed in the country.

Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said that even though this is the biggest election in the entire history with over 52,000 candidates, generally a peaceful environment prevailed throughout the election period.

He commended the services of the Election Commission and the Police, adding that they took immediate action on incidents related to election violence and violation of election laws.

In the meantime, Tennakoon said that the scale and gravity of election law violations are very low compared to previous elections.

“There are many people to attend to the complaints received. Therefore, we see a marked increase in the engagement of the people as well,” he said.

Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) National Co-ordinator Manjula Gajanayake said they will deploy 2,000 static observers, 100 mobile observers and around 90 field observers on the poll day.

He said that they intend to cover a minimum of 6,000 polling stations island wide.

Gajanayake also affirmed that a very peaceful environment was maintained in the pre-election period.

In the meantime, CaFFE informed that they have deployed nearly 50,000 election observers all over the island. So far the CaFFE had received around 356 complaints related to violation of election laws.

The People’s Actions for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFERAL) has deployed about 7,000 well-trained and well-equipped volunteers as observers for the Local Government Elections. Among them, 1,000 were in service during the postal voting at different points and another 4,000 would be placed at polling booths. Over 1,500 will function as mobile observers using 350 vehicles to visit various polling stations and surrounding areas.

(Daily News)

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