Remove Propaganda Material By 31st
► Remove Propaganda Material By 31st
Chairman of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya says propaganda material and all offices put up for the Local Government Election must be removed by the 31st of January 2018.
Speaking at a media briefing this morning the Chairman of Elections said posters, cut-outs, flags and other Propaganda Material must also be taken down by 31st of January.
Deshapriya noted that election offices of candidates who fail to declare assets by the 20th of January will be removed.
The deadline to accept nominations for all 341 Local Government bodies concluded last month while the deadline to accept assets and declarations concludes on the 20th of January.
Chairman Deshapriya said according to the law cut-outs and posters can only be displayed in premises where rallies are being held adding posters can only be displayed to convene the rally.
He noted previously contestants said they needed to publicize their election number and let the public know they were contesting at the election so the Elections Commission let them have election offices display cut-outs adding the commission made a decision to now have the cutouts and offices removed by the 31st of January.
Mahinda Deshapriya expressed he received two letters of demand that it was wrong of him to break the law and allow the display of cut-outs.
The Chairman requested the public to inform the Elections Commission if illegal Propaganda Material specially posters have been put up on walls.
He added the Commission kindly and desperately request the public to throw a bucket of water and remove the posters put up on their walls, and use a brush to scrape them off.
Deshapriya advised the public not to touch the posters with their hands as some people use shards of glass.
The Chairman said the public could also inform the Commission and the Commission would send a poster through post saying it is an illegal poster.
Mahinda Deshapriya said the civil rights of clergy could be suspended for seven years if found guilty of encouraging the violation of election laws.
The Elections Commissioner further stated there was no foreseeable issue pertaining to candidates holding religious services within places of worship.
However he noted if political statements are being made inside the premises of places of worship or if candidates were holding daily religious services with loudspeakers, issues would be inevitable.
Chairman Deshapriya said religion and politics must remain separate adding religious leaders cannot make politicised statements through their places of worship.
However the Chairman noted religious leaders are welcome to engage in politics and attend political rallies and discussions.
The Chairman noted steps will be taken against hate speech posted on social media.
The Commissioner said certain propaganda is being circulated against some candidates discouraging voters from voting for them solely because they belong to a different religion.
He noted such messages are being spread via posters and even social media, however adding the Commission would take strict action against such incidents.