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Foreign election monitors: EC to decide this month

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The Election Commission (EC) is to take the final decision on whether the international election observers would be invited or not to monitor the parliamentary election scheduled to be held on 5 August, by the end of this month, according to EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya.

He told The Morning that requests had been received from EU election observers and the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL). However, a final decision had not been made by the Commission.

“A Commission member, Prof. S. Ratnajeevan Hoole, is co-ordinating with the international election monitors and he will submit a report to the Commission. After the report is submitted, the commission will take the final decision,” Deshapriya said.

Explaining further, the EC Chairman said that if they allowed the international monitors to monitor the parliamentary election, they will have to go through a compulsory 14-day quarantine period. “The countries in the EU are badly affected by Covid-19. However, countries represented in ANFREL had a lower threat, but their vulnerability for the virus cannot be ruled out,” he stressed.

Deshapriya also said that the airports are scheduled to be reopened on 1 August and if the monitors have to go through a 14-day quarantine period, then there should be special arrangements made with the airports as well.

“The Commission would consider the report scheduled to be submitted by Prof. Hoole and the final decision would be taken based on that,” he added.