Election officials overseeing polling booths in Puttalam for displaced Jaffna persons reversed an order to allow 450 “ineligible” voters to cast their ballots.
A week ago election officials received a list of 450 persons and orders to treat these persons as ineligible to vote. However, some of these persons turned up yesterday at the polling stations. They were arrested by the police, and at least 15 of them were taken to a police station, while the others were detained.
However, two ministers intervened, and Assistant Elections Commissioner M. Nafeel later reversed the decision to treat these persons as not eligible to vote. It is understood that the order had come from :high up”.
The detained persons were released from custody and allowed to vote.
Government agent M. Kingsly Fernando told The Sunday Times that he was not aware of the details of the reversed decision, while Mr. Nafeel declined to comment.