Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake in a press release issued yesterday said that when ballot papers relating to Saturday`s Southern Provincial Council elections were being examined on September 28, UPFA Galle District candidate Nishantha Muthuhettigama had arrived at the Galle district election office accompanied by a group of supporters and allegedly scolded the election staff and obstructed their official duties.
The Elections Department complained about this to the IGP and requested an investigation into it.
After the elections when preference votes in the Galle district were counted on October 12 too, Muthuhettigama had criticised the counting process and allegedly made death threats to Returning Officer Asoka Jayasekera who had complained to the Police about it and requested an investigation.
If any party is not satisfied with a Provincial Council election or a relevant counting of votes of Provincial Council Election Act has provisions for him or her to seek legal redress. Moreover, a candidate who is not satisfied with the counting can always ask for a recount.
The release said representatives of political parties and Independent Groups were also allowed entry to the counting centres.
In the context that no such representative opposed the counting and results procedure the Elections Department vehemently condemned the exhibition of thuggery and threats and allegations made against the official duties and functions and expected the Police to hold investigations with specific attention regarding the relevant complaints. The relevant political party which the candidate represented was duty bound to take suitable action regarding this kind of thuggery and intimidation.
It is also the duty of all sections to provide protection and build confidence among State officials to enable them to conduct free and impartial elections which is an essential democratic process.