Centre for Policy Alternatives on 31 December, 2009

Presidential Elections 2010: Field Visit Report, December 2009

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The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) visited selected
areas of the North and East from 22 -25 December 2009 to identify the
issues pertaining to the voter application process for displaced
persons, the availability of required identification documents and the
general context in which the campaign is being conducted. CMEV met with
Government officials, political party representatives, leading civil
society actors including religious leaders, the media, academics, and
displaced persons.

  • CMEV notes with concern the number of applications – 31,758 –
    received by the Department of Elections as of 28th December. This
    figure could be lower since some applications may be rejected. CMEV
    calls on the Election Commissioner to ensure that every displaced voter
    who is registered in the 2008 Electoral Register will be able to vote.
    Considering the issues and confusion pertaining to the application
    process and given the assurances by senior election officials, CMEV
    urges the Election Commissioner to issue a special notice to the
    displaced voters enumerating the application procedure and requisite
    voter identity documentation, thereby ensuring that neither of these
    factors will inhibit the fullest exercise of the franchise by displaced
    persons. CMEV also urges the Commissioner and election officials to
    make sure that the displaced voters are aware of the location of
    cluster and special polling centres through their Grama Niladharis and
    Camp Officers.
  • CMEV calls on the media and civil society organizations to assist
    the Commissioner’s office as well as through initiatives of their own,
    on voter education.
  • CMEV calls upon the Commissioner and colleagues to establish an
    effective mechanism in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Transport Board
    to assure proper transportation facilities for displaced voters. CMEV
    urges the line ministry to consider this as a matter of priority and
    recommends that the Election Commissioner establish a special committee
    to look into the transportation arrangements.

Read the full report in English, Sinhala and Tamil.

Presidential Elections 2010: Field Visit Report, December 2009