Deshapriya urges government to gazette health regulations to conduct a safe poll

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Chief Elections Commissioner is reiterating that the government issue regulations with regard to the Health Services guidelines for officials and the members of the public to follow to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“If these regulations are not followed to the letter it will be a major issue for us to conduct the elections according to the guidelines that will ensure the safety of the community,” Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya said.

If these regulations are not Gazetted and made into law, the Elections Commission will not be able to conduct a safe poll.

“We know that our public will not follow guidelines unless they are justiciable,” Deshapriya said.

This is what was revealed to us in a meeting with the Public Health Inspectors, he said.

Deshapriya, in a press statement, said that the Commission has “no desire to postpone the election. However, we have no intention of starting a second wave of the disease,” he said.

He said that the Commission wants to provide the opportunity for those people in quarantine centres as well as home quarantine to exercise their franchise.

“We are willing to set up separate polling stations for these people to vote, for this is their right,” he said. (Colombo, July 15, 2020-sb)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana