Colombo Telegraph

LAWASIA Urges Elections Dept To Ensure Free And Fair Polls

LAWASIA – an international organisation of legal professionals have called upon the Elections Department to ensure free and fair elections by fulfilling its mandate under the Sri Lankan Constitution.

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya

In a statement issued yesterday LAWASIA President, Isomi Suzuki has also called upon the Elections Department to prohibit the misuse of official machinery and direct all state agencies including the IGP to ensure a strict compliance with the regulations governing elections.

The organisation has also raised concerns over the observation of laws governing free and fair elections as well as the general laws of the country by both the Opposition and those in power in these days leading up to the election.

It has also expressed their strong support for the endeavors of the BASL and its members against the violation of election laws and have emphasized on the fact that no person or authority stands above the law.

We publish the full statement below:

LAWASIA SUPPORT FOR FREE AND FAIR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN SRI LANKA

Reports from Sri Lanka indicate developments that bring into question whether the laws governing free and fair elections, as well as the general laws of the country, are being properly observed by all sides during the lead up to the current presidential elections.

As an organisation committed to supporting the rule of law, LAWASIA, the Law Association for Asia and the Pacific, records its concern at these reported developments, which have prompted the Council of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka to resolve unanimously to take all possible and proper action to support the conduct of free and fair elections and to prevent violations of the law during this process.

LAWASIA strongly supports the endeavours of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and its members in this regard and emphasises that no person or authority stands above the law.

It calls upon the Election Commission to fulfil its mandate under the Sri Lankan Constitution in a robust and effective manner to ensure a free and fair election by prohibiting the misuse of official machinery and to direct all state agencies, including the Inspector General of Police, to ensure a strict compliance therewith.

It further calls on all government agencies to observe the requirements of the Election Commission so that presidential elections are able to take place peacefully, freely and with complete fairness to all candidates, in accordance with democratic principles.

Isomi SUZUKI PRESIDENT

22 DECEMBER 2014

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