EC in quandary over President's events
Mar 18, 2014

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday disagreed with the stand taken by the heads of state media institutions that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presence at public meetings did not have an impact on the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) polls campaign.

He said he would discuss this matter with the general secretaries of political parties and the heads of independent groups.

State media institution heads led by Information and Media Ministry Secretary Charitha Herath and Information Director General Ariyaratne Athugala met Mr. Deshapriya at the Elections Secretariat to discuss the impact caused by President Rajapaksa’s public meetings in the Western and Southern Provinces where elections are to be held on March 29.Mr. Deshapriya said he had received several complaints from political parties that the state events attended by the public and often addressed by President Rajapaksa had a negative impact on the election campaign carried out by opposition political parties.

Mr. Herath said President Rajapaksa had every right to participate at those state events as head of state and no one could protest about it. Mr. Deshapriya said he would discuss this matter with political parties and independent groups and appraise them about the stated position of the government. Meanwhile, Minister Dullas Alahapperuma told the media that opening of mega development projects could not be postponed just because there was an election.

“What would happen if the government did not commission the Galle – Matara expressway or outer circular road? The opposition will blame the government of delaying the opening and incurring a loss of millions of rupees,” he said.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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