Misuse of state property was considerably less compared to recent polls: Caffe

Aug 17, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s general elections 2015 opened on Monday after a mostly peaceful pre-election period with some minor incidents, while elections laws are being better enforced, a polls monitoring group said.

The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), a polls monitoring group said misuse of state property was considerably less compared to recent elections.

“The misuse of public property has been inherent to Sri Lankan elections and in the last elections of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government such abuses were widespread often with the blessings of the most senior politicians,’ they noted.

“However during this election Sirisena and Wickremesinghe have not misused public property and have led the fight against the misuse of public property.”

CaFFE said in recent elections the police had tended to act in a biased manner, but under the current administration over 400 people have been arrested of which 40 percent were from the ruling UNP.

“About 39 percent were from the opposition United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and 21 percent were from other parties,”

“This shows that election law violators have been arrested regardless of the party associations,”

“Apart from the incident where Kurunegala district candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa was found distributing silredi and the incident reported from Batticaloa where a UNP supporter was shot, there were no other serious incidents.”

A total of 6,151 candidates from 21 registered political parties and 201 independent groups are contesting for the 196 district seats in the 2015 polls.