All party committee to monitor polls

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 February 1999, 16:58 GMT]
The Sri Lankan President met leaders of the political parties contesting provincial council election April 1 today at the Temple Trees, her official residence. Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, the leader of the SLMC Mr.M.H.M Ashraff and Ceylon Workers Congress chief and Minister for Livestock Development Mr.S.Thondaman were among those present.

chandrika_kumarathunge_3-p.jpgA statement by the Presidential Secretarial following the conclusion of the meeting said "It was agreed that a monitoring committee consisting of specially appointed representatives of all the parties present chaired by the President will be established immediately to formulate plans and procedures to ensure free and fair elections. This committee will meet once a week or as and when necessary. All parties present at the meeting undertook to adhere strictly to all the laws and rules relating to the conduct of elections. The parties further agreed to take appropriate disciplinary action against of their any member who violate any of the directions".

The UNP told the press later in the afternoon that it would co-operate with the monitoring body led by the President but will continue with their agitation for democracy.

The UNP leaders said they will have to see how the committee would carry out its duty.

A senior UNP leader expressed scepticism about the usefulness of the exercise.


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