EC to go ahead with election despite COVID-19 threat in Sri Lanka
COLOMBO (The Island/ANN) - The Election Commission (EC) to go ahead with election despite COVID-19 threat
The Election Commission (EC) yesterday (12) said that in spite of the detection of the first Sri Lankan, who had contracted the Coronavirus, it was premature to discuss the likelihood of the postponement of the next parliamentary poll scheduled for April 25.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa called early general election on April 25 having dissolved parliament on March 02.
Sources said that possible postponement could be discussed if the situation deteriorated. The postponement of the general election meant departure from the Parliamentary Elections Act that could be used to challenge results of an eventual election, sources said.
Other EC sources pointed out that the dissolution of the parliament had been effected in terms of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution ahead of full completion of its five-year term.
The EC consists of Mahinda Deshapriya (Chairman), Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole and Nalin Abeysekera, PC.
Acknowledging the counter measures so far taken by the government to prevent rapid spreading of coronavirus or COVID 19, sources said that the unprecedented health crisis could be quite a disruptive factor.
Responding to another query, sources said that in case the situation deteriorated the postponement of the scheduled election would be inevitable.
Sources said that the proposed deployment of foreign election monitors, particularly from EU could be in jeopardy. Sources said that the EC was going ahead with preparations under a challenging environment.
A week-long period to accept nominations commenced on yesterday (12).
Sources emphasized that foreign election monitors, too, would have to undergo mandatory health checks unless the government did away with precautionary measures currently in place.
The government on Wednesday announced that all foreigners arriving in Sri Lanka, too, would be quarantined.
Appearing on Derana ‘Aluth Parlimentuwa’ on Wednesday, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva explained the difficulties experienced in ongoing efforts to provide required facilities to those quarantined at Kandalkadu rehabilitation centre and the Batticaloa Campus. Lt. Gen. Silva said that troops had to work through the night to ensure sufficient toilet facilities to those accommodated there.