General Election expenses could exceed Rs.20 billion

2019-12-17 at 11:00

Election watchdog the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence says the election propaganda related expenses at the forthcoming Parliamentary Election could exceed 20 billion rupees.

Speaking to NewsRadio, National Coordinator of the CMEV, Manjula Gajanayake said nearly 6,000 persons are expected to contest the 2020 General Election.

He said a number of new laws must be enacted to minimize election related expenses.

Manjula Gajanayake noted that based on a study carried-out by the CMEV, the three main candidates at the previous Presidential Election alone spent four billion rupees on campaigning activities.

He said without bringing in necessary laws to limit campaign financing, the country cannot expect the conduct of free and fair elections.

The National Coordinator of the CMEV added that the time is apt to introduce laws that will facilitate an equal playing field for all prospective public representatives.

Manjula Gajanayake said together with the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections and the National Election Commission, the CMEV had formulated a draft bill pertaining to election financing.

However, he noted that the draft bill is languishing at the Attorney General’s Department.

National Coordinator of the CMEV, Manjula Gajanayake claimed that it is the duty of the present administration to take up the matter and obtain necessary approval through the Cabinet and Parliament.