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* Election Secretariat of Sri Lanka receives 57 complaints, mostly on transfer of officials
Sun, Feb 9, 2014, 10:50 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 09, Colombo: The Complaints Unit set up at the Election Secretariat of Sri Lanka has so far received 57 complaints of election law violations ahead of the upcoming Western and Southern Provincial Council elections and a majority of them alleges illegal transfer of government officials.

The election watchdog Campaign for a Free and Fair Election (CaFFE) said it has received 14 complaints pertaining to transfers of government officials.

However, the Executive Director of CaFFE, Keerthi Tennakoon said the Elections Commissioner is permitted to execute such transfers if they deemed necessary and not interfering with the election process.

He said although transfers and promotions of government officials during the pre-election stage would undoubtedly affect the electoral process, some of these transfers do not affect the electoral process to such a great extent.

"One should bear in mind that the Elections Commissioner is endowed with the power to sanction such transfers should he consider they are necessary. Most of the transfers, which have taken place, are in the sectors of education and transport. So there are two sides to this issue," Tennakoon has said.

Besides the complaints of illegal transfers, both the Complaints Unit and CaFFE have received complaints of illegal use of State vehicles, riotous gatherings, and pasting of posters and cut-outs.

CaFFE has also received several complaints regarding illegal protests in the run up to the polls from Beruwala, Deniyaya, Aluthgama, Akmeemana, Wattala, Kadawata and Aldeniya.

Most of the complaints received by the Complaints Unit of the Elections Secretariat was from the Western Province.

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