COLOMBO (News1st): Sri Lanka’s election chief said that the process of distributing relief during the COVID -19 should be “depoliticized” and politicians should not interfere with choosing the beneficiaries.
“A small group of people might be aiming to win votes by providing relief. However, we believe that a civilized and a good politician won’t do that,” polls chief Mahinda Deshapriya said.
The polls chief in his Facebook account on Wednesday responded to criticism levelled against him for discouraging candidates carrying out of relief activities which could give them an upper hand at the general election.
Deshapriya said that generally neither he nor the National Election Commission (NEC) would respond to politicians comments but this time it warranted him to clarify the position of the NEC.
He clarified that the NEC had not implied that politicians should stay out of relief activities, but instead stressed that candidates and political parties should not be promoted through such programmes.
“If politicians need to provide relief to the country the best method would be to grant such relief through the state apparatus. It is better if videos and pictures of such activities are not captured,” the Facebook post read.
Deshapriya, on the final date of accepting nominations in mid-March, announced that the general election cannot be held on April 25 owing to the situation surrounding COVID – 19.