People power for rig-proof elections
By Rathindra Kuruwita
Mar 29, 2010
The two main opposition parties the United National Front (UNF) and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) have worked out a strategy to counter election malpractices by deploying 100,000 persons to protect polling stations and counting centres.

“We will mobilize more than 100 000 party supporters on April 8th to prevent election malpractices at the polling and counting centres. DNA General Secretary Vijitha Herath told LAKBIMAnEWS that he has conveyed this decision to the Election Commissioner and the IGP last Friday, and requested their assistance.

“There were many malpractices during the January 26th presidential elections. Goons chased away the opposition representatives from the counting centres which had a major impact on the final result. Since we cannot tolerate a repetition, we have decided to create grassroot level organizations to curb any untoward interference on election day,” Herath said.

The DNA general secretary said that these grassroot organizations comprise members of all political parties who are keen on a free and fair election. He added that they have asked the Elections Commissioner to provide necessary security to areas that are vulnerable to election violence.

“We are especially concerned of areas such as Nawalapitiya, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura. The IGP promised to seek the help of the army and the STF to prevent any political interference on election day, but he made such promises last time as well. So that’s why it is important to organize people at the grassroots level,” Herath said.

Meanwhile the General Secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayake said that they have already started training the members of the committees. “We have also given them special instructions on what to do if there are election law violations. These 100 000 strong committees will prevent any rigging.”

Courtesy: Lakbima