Display of candidates’ names: EC says no official decision

  • Regional regulations, not by Election Commission
  • Former President Sirisena’s name to be blocked

By Sarah Hannan

The decision to block out the former President’s name in plaques was a regional regulation, the Election Secretariat stated.

“Blocking out candidates’ names displayed on plaques set on buildings, development projects, or places where foundation stones were laid is an impractical exercise. It is not a directive issued by the Election Secretariat. It is possible that the regional elections office took such a decision,” Commissioner General of Elections Saman Sri Ratnayake said.

Two weeks ago, former President Maithripala Sirisena was asked to refrain from distributing school stationery that was arranged at a school in Polonnaruwa.

Media reports noted that the stationery that was to be distributed bore the former President’s name. The Polonnaruwa Election Office had advised the former President to refrain from distributing such material as it was viewed as non-adherence to election campaigning guidelines.