Voter registration: Polls chief wants party co-operation
The Elections Commissioner has requested registered political parties to send a party representative along with the grama niladhari when he goes from house to house to hand over the forms to the chief householders who have to enter in them the names of those eligible to vote.
Distribution of the forms which commenced on Friday is scheduled to take place for two weeks.
Assistant Commissioner P.M. Siriwardena told The Sunday Times that although instructions had been sent out to political parties very little interest was shown.
“Every year this request is made but it is never seriously heeded. The grama niladharis have many practical problems, so it will be good if a party representative accompanies them,” he said.
He said that although a two-week period is given, to hand over the lists to the householders, the process goes on till mid-August.
“We cannot give a deadline as the grama niladharis may not be in a position to complete the work in two weeks. In some areas there is a shortage of grama niladharis,” he said.
Meanwhile, last week UNP Deputy Leader Tissa Attanayake at a meeting with the Elections Commissioner urged that a meeting be arranged with party representatives and the District Secretaries to emphasise the importance of having a party representative when handing over the lists to the householders.
Mr. Attanayake told The Sunday Times his party had instructed all party organizers in every district to make arrangements to send a representative.
“We cannot blame any officials. It is the responsibility of each political party to see that all eligible names are included in the list before it is finalized. At last weeks meeting with the Commissioner we discussed this issue and the Commissioner said he was happy that the UNP was taking a keen interest in this regard. However due to time constraints it is not possible to arrange a meeting between the District Secretary and the party representatives,” he said.
The election monitoring body PAFFREL has sent out letters to all registered political parties requesting them to send a party representative with the grama niladhari. PAFFREL has also made arrangements to send its representatives with the grama niladhari.
The Elections Department has sent out the 2006 electoral register now completed to all districts for any revisions.
As the 2006 register is computerized making revisions will be completed within a short period.