July 16, Colombo: The Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya stated that it would be difficult to hold the election if the health advice related to the general election is not gazetted.
The matter was considered at a meeting of the Election Commission, the Chairman said adding that if the health regulations related to the election were not gazetted the election cannot be held.
Although the health guidelines for the election have been issued by the health authorities, the gazette announcing the guidelines has not been issued yet. In the absence of a gazette notification, public officials and law enforcement officers have no power to ensure that the guidelines are followed and implemented.
Speaking further Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said, a meeting of the Election Commission was held from 10.30 am to 2 pm. “We have realized that a big obstacle to holding elections is that we cannot hold elections if those health regulations are not adopted.”
“On the other hand, if the people do not use the mandatory face masks, one meter distance, and frequent hand washing that are currently in place, and travel was not restricted we will have to say that it will be a serious hindrance to the election process as there is a risk of the epidemic to spread in the country.”
“Absence of this gazette notification is a serious obstacle to our activities. The Commission discussed that it would be difficult for us to hold an election if this gazette was not published. We will be reviewing this again on the 21st. If we want to hold it on the 5th of August, we must continue to maintain a new normal coronavirus controlled situation,” the Election Commission Chairman said.