The counting of ballot papers for the Kotte electorate was put on hold last night following allegations that ballot boxes had been swapped en route between the polling booth and the counting centre.
UNP MP Ravi Karunanayaka said two heavily stuffed ballot boxes minus the relevant seals had been allowed into the counting centre, Room 62 of D. S. Senanayake College, Colombo.
He said the boxes had been collected from the polling booth at the Parakrama Pirivena in Etul-Kotte, and that the switching of boxes had taken place despite police presence. He said his suspicions were aroused when he saw that the boxes had been opened and counting had begun even before the polling agents of the respective parties had arrived at the counting centre.
The matter was raised with the Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayaka, who promised to initiate a full inquiry, Mr. Karunanayake said.
Additional Elections Commissioner W. W. M. Deshapriya said he was not aware of any such incident