You will lose your seat in six months CaFFE warns candidates not to distribute goods
Posted on January 14th, 2018

Media Unit – CaFFE

Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) warned candidates for the coming local government election that distributing goods to secure votes might lead to their removal, if they are elected, within six months.

Addressing a workshop to train female candidates for the coming local government election in Vavuniya district yesterday (12) CaFFE Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said that most election petitions under the new system will be processed within six months and bribing the voters is an offence that can lead to the removal of a local councilor from his seat.

“Distributing goods to secure the votes of the people is a risky business. In previous elections it was candidates affiliated with the government that distributed goods but now we see that candidates from several parties doing that. In this age, when everyone has a camera phone, it is impossible to do anything without evidence,” he said.

Tennakoon added that CaFFE and other election monitors have received a number of complaints about the illegal distribution of goods and that if those accused are elected to local councils, they plan to file election petitions.

“An election petition will be processed within six months under the new system and errant candidates will lose their seats before getting used to being a local councilor. If a candidate is disqualified, the person who came in second will replace him. So we urge all candidates not to jeopardize their chances by engaging in illegal activities,” he said.

CaFFE is conducting a series of workshops and meetings across the country to train female candidates. These initiatives, targeting candidates away from urban areas are vital to ensure that they understand the new electoral system, campaign management, effective communication and how local government institutions can be used to strengthen democratic norms and assist people.

Media Unit – CaFFE

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