2019 Presidential Election postal voting concludes

2019-11-07 at 16:46

Marking of postal ballots for the 2019 Presidential Election concluded today. A total of 659,306 persons were eligible to cast postal ballot for the election.

Although, 717,918 persons applied for postal voting, 58,601 applications were rejected by the Election Commission.

Postal voting for the 2019 Presidential Election took place at 7,920 centres across the county, under three stages.

Accordingly, marking of postal ballots were carried out on the 31st of October, 1st, 4th and the 5th of November and also between 0830am and 0415pm today.

The National Election Commission says the marking of postal ballot was carried-out without any major incident in the country. Director General of Elections Saman Sri Rathnayake said although minor incidents have been reported, it will not impact the final results of the Election.

Meanwhile, Election watchdog, the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections says despite reports of a few minor incidents, the postal voting for the 2019 Presidential Election was worked-off peacefully.

Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi said his organisation deployed 1,000 observers to monitor the postal voting process.

Rohana Hettiarachchi said despite few incidents such as transporting of voters, circulation of posters and sharing of marked ballot papers on social media platforms, PAFFREL did not receive any complaints of major election law violations.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence said the 2019 Presidential Election postal voting was worked-off in a free and fair manner across the country.

Speaking to NewsRadio, National Coordinator of the CMEV, Manjula Gajanayake said only six incidents were reported during the postal voting process. He added although the postal voting process concluded without a major incident, the CMEV is concerned over the rejection of over 58,000 postal voting applications.

Manjula Gajanayake added that he will review the postal application process in order to minimise malpractices.

Furthermore, the Campaign for Free & Fair Election says it has received 684 complaints pertaining to the 2019 Presidential Election.

The CaFFE said a majority of the incidents are pertaining to flouting of election laws. The Election Watchdog added the country’s media outlets should be responsible, independent and democratic when broadcasting election related news.

Speaking during an event in Vavuniya, Acting Executive Director of CaFFE Ahamed Manaz said his organisation has observed a huge disparity in the coverage of rallies and events of political party candidates by state and private media organisations.

He said CaFFE is currently investigating and compiling a report pertaining to the conduct of the media outlets in the country.