Opposition urges checks on referendum rigging

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 August 2001, 21:16 GMT]
Opposition parties Monday urged the Sri Lanka's Commissioner of Elections to take steps to stop rigging at the referendum on 21 August. Leaders of the United National Party, the Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna, the Tamil United Liberation Front and the Sihala Urumaya met the Coomissioner of elections Monday morning for discussions about conducting the referendum in a free and fair manner.

The Senior Vice President of the TULF, Mr. V. Anandasangaree, made suggestions to the Commissioner of Elections which, according to his party, are aimed at reducing fraud and rigging in Jaffna during the referendum. The TULF alleges that the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP), a constituent of the People's Alliance government, is preparing to rig the referendum in Jaffna with the backing of ruling party.

The opposition requested the Elections Commissioner to prevent the Ministerial Security Division (MSD) from deploying it personnel near or around polling booths during the voting on the referendum.

The Sri Lankan opposition and local polls observer groups such as the Centre for Monitoring Elections Violations (CMEV) charge that security forces personnel of the MSD were deployed by PA strongmen during the October 2000 general elections to intimidate voters, capture polling booths and stuff ballot boxes.

The UNP urged that Commissioner to issue instructions that will make the Police act in accordance with the law of the land.

The Elections Commissioner told the opposition representatives that he would look into their suggestions.

 

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