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Sri Lanka Electoral Process

Election Ordinances and Acts of elections that are conducted in Sri Lanka

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There are five different of elections in Sri Lanka, namely,
** Presidential Election – (Presidential Elections Act No. 15 of 1981)
** Parliamentary Election – (Parliamentary Elections Act No. 1 of 1981)
** Provincial Council Elections – (Provincial Councils Elections Act No. 2 of 1988)
** Local Authorities Election – (Local Authorities Elections Ordinance (Chapter 262))
** Referendum – (Referendum Act, No. 7 of 1981)

Procedure of declaration of an election

** In terms of the Presidential Elections Act, No. 15 of 1981, when the Commissioner of Elections is required by the Constitution to conduct the Presidential election. (Conduct of the Presidential Election on a date, not less than one month and not more than two months, before ending the term of office of the President or due to the expression of intention by the President to hold a Presidential Election.)

** According to the Parliamentary Elections Act, No. 1 of 1981, from the date of publication in the Gazette of the Proclamation on which the President shall dissolve the Parliament specifying the nomination period and the date on which the poll shall be taken.

** According to the Provincial Councils Elections Act, No. 2 of 1988, within one week from the direction of the President by reason of the operation of article 154E of the Constitution or within one week from the dissolution of the Provincial Council by the Governor of the Province under Article 154B (8) (c) of the Constitution, the Commissioner shall, publish a notice of his intention to hold an election to such Council specifying the nomination period.

** According to the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance (Chapter 262), from the date on which the Elections Officer of the district (District Secretary/ Government Agent) publishes a notice of his intention to hold such election, being a date within a period of six months preceding the date on which the term of office of the members (4 years) of a Local Authority is due to end or from the date on which the Elections Officer publishes a notice of election after the dissolution of a Local Authority by the Minister of the central government, who is in charge of the subject of Local Government.

** By the notice of conducting a referendum published by the Commissioner of Elections, specifying the day for the taking of the poll, after the President has, by Proclamation, directed the Commissioner of Elections to conduct a Referendum according to the Referendum Act, No. 7 of 1981.

Conduct of Elections

** Poll is taken at the Polling Stations established for the purpose of conducting the elections. Only one polling booth can be established for one polling district unless the polling stations are created for males and females separately.
** The Chief of the Polling Station is the Senior Presiding Officer (SPO).
** He / She is a staff officer or an officer close to staff grade in the government service.
** SPOs are selected confidentially and staffs for Polling Stations are selected from officers serving in government offices and schools in various areas.
** Where the number of voters at a polling station is less than 1200, only one queue is arranged and when it is above 1201 two queues are arranged.
** One queue needs 4 officers and in addition to this minimum no. of one Junior Presiding Officer for each queue and a polling station assistant (an additional SPO, depending on the need) will be attached to the SPO for his assistance.
** Arranging the polling station is the responsibility of the Grama Niladhari and the Grama Niladhari will assign an assistant to look after the facilities of the polling station.
** Two Police Personnel will be assigned for security of the polling station.
** Two agents from each contesting Political Party and Independent Group will be appointed to a polling station.
** Recognized Observer Organizations attach one observer to each polling station.
** Visit the instruction leaflet to obtain information in regard to the persons who are permitted to enter into the polling station, the valid identity documents for casting vote and the duties of the staff of the polling station.
** Further, more information can be obtained by visiting the page of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.

Counting & Declaration of Results

** The counting of votes commences immediately after the receipt of the last ballot box of a Counting Centre, may be around 7.00 p.m., on the date of poll.
** Counting begins in the presence of the Counting Agents who are not more than five agents of a political party or an independent group.
** The counting of postal votes commences at about 4.30p.m. in the presence of two Counting Agents of a political party or an independent group.
** One (1) person of the authorized number of agents can be present in the counting hall at 3.00 p.m. on the poll day.
** Except at the Presidential elections and Referendum, where the whole country becomes one electorate, in other elections results are announced at two stages.
** Firstly, the result of the vote count at the polling divisional and district level including the postal votes results and secondly, the results of the count of preferences obtained by each candidate.
** At all these instances vote results are announced under each polling division (previously, Parliamentary electoral districts) and finally the electoral district result.
** The Returning Officer shall obtain the permission of the Commissioner of Elections, before declaring the result.
** The Returning Officers of the respective electoral areas (District Secretaries) manage the conduct of poll and the count of votes, with the assistance of Assistant Returning Officers and subordinate staff.
** Local announcement of results is made by the Returning Officers after the approval of the Commissioner of Elections.
** At all elections and referenda, declaration of the results to the Country is done by the Commissioner through Radio and Television from his office

1 Comment
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    I propose a nomination paper of such political party shall not be a candidate. Because they always do unfair actions against other candidates. Party Gen.Sec. shall nominate such authorized person than candidate.
    This proposal consider for Parliment, Provincial Council & Local Govt. Elections hereafter.

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