Lukewarm response by political parties
Aug 18, 2012
The Elections Department said yesterday the response from political parties and the media to the code of conduct was rather lukewarm.

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said it was only the election monitors and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) who responded to the code of conduct.

“There has been no formal response from anyone else, but we have seen certain candidates change their attitude and approach to the elections after the code was released,” he said.

Election monitors said they were glad that a set of guidelines had been released.

The People’s Action for a Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) said that even though the code of conduct was not legally binding, it did set out guidelines they hoped would be followed.

“We didn’t expect an overnight change in attitude, but there should be more prominence given to it so that the candidates will feel compelled at least to some extent to stick to the guidelines,” PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said

Commenting on the code of conduct for the monitors, he said he had no complaints as such codes already existed for each organisation.

“We have such a code that is quite similar to the one released by the Department, so as far as we are concerned there is no change at all,” Mr. Hettiarachchi said.

The Campaign for a Free and Fair Election (CaFFE) said they disagreed with one of the clauses.

“We think seven years of political inactivity is too long a period but apart from that we have no issues with the code,” he said.

Mr. Desapriya said that any party seeking changes to the code of conduct was welcome to discuss the matter. He said it could be downloaded in all three languages from the department website

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka