Commonwealth monitors meet Elections Commissioner

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 March 2004, 12:02 GMT]
Commonwealth country representatives who arrived in Sri Lanka Thursday to monitor next week's parliamentary elections held discussions with the Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake today, political sources in Colombo said.

A 14 member team from Commonwealth countries will be monitoring Sri Lanka's elections on April 2 in selected districts, chairperson of the group, Margaret Reid, told journalists in Colombo.

The Elections Commissioner has invited the Commonwealth and European Union representatives to monitor the polls. Japan is also sending a separate team.

Reid, a former chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, said that media and the campaign by political parties would also come under scrutiny during the period.

"Our Terms of Reference from the Commonwealth Secretary General say that we should come to a view about ‘the credibility of the electoral process as a whole’ and ‘determine in our own judgement whether the conditions exist for a free expression of will by the electors and if the results of the elections reflect the wishes of the people," a statement issued by the group said.

The group said that they will decide on the areas which would be monitored after a meeting with the Commissioner of elections.

 

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