Sri Lanka

Articles about voting issues in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka: Top Court Thwarts Sri Lanka President’s Snap Election Plan | Bloomberg

Sri Lanka’s top court suspended an order by President Maithripala Sirisena to dissolve the island nation’s parliament and call a snap general election after Ranil Wickremesinghe mounted a legal challenge against his ouster as prime minister. The Supreme Court granted interim relief until Dec. 7, staying the Presidential notice suspending parliament and halting preparations for the poll. The court’s order on Tuesday means that Sri Lanka’s parliament will reconvene on Nov. 14 as earlier decided by the president. He was acting in response to mounting pressure to resolve the political crisis since his surprise dismissal of Wickremesinghe on Oct. 26. “We will be in parliament tomorrow and we will show the majority, that we are the legitimate government in Sri Lanka,” Wickremesinghe told reporters in Colombo following the court’s decision.

Full Article: Top Court Thwarts Sri Lanka President's Snap Election Plan - Bloomberg.

Sri Lanka: Snap election challenged in supreme court | AFP

Supporters of Sri Lanka’s sacked prime minister and a top election official on Monday challenged in court the president’s dissolving of parliament, upping the ante in a political crisis that has sparked international alarm. Late on Friday, President Maithripala Sirisena called snap elections and dissolved the legislature, two weeks after sacking the prime minister and installing the divisive Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place. The United States has led a chorus of international concern over events in the Indian Ocean island nation of 21 million people. Three political parties holding an absolute majority in parliament and an election commissioner, one of three officials tasked with conducting polls, on Monday asked the Supreme Court to declare the president’s actions illegal.

Full Article: Sri Lanka's snap election challenged in supreme court - The National.

Sri Lanka: A dubious do-over: Sri Lanka’s president calls a snap election | The Economist

Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka’s president, abruptly dissolved parliament on November 9th and called a snap general election. The move capped several weeks of political drama in the Indian Ocean republic as the president has tested—many would say has greatly exceeded—the constitutional limits of his power. The action began on October 26th, when Mr Sirisena abruptly sacked Ranil Wickremesinghe, the elected prime minister and also his ostensible political ally in the ruling coalition. He replaced him with Mahinda Rajapaksa (pictured), a former strongman president whose regime Mr Sirisena had loudly accused of corruption and even of having plotted to kill him. The flip-flopping president also suspended parliament for three weeks to avoid a debate on his actions, and began to swear in new ministers. The suspension of parliament was widely seen as an indication that the new prime minister did not have the support of majority of MPs.

Full Article: Sri Lanka’s president calls a snap election - A dubious do-over.

Sri Lanka: Election Losses Test Sri Lanka’s Leader, and the Country’s Direction | The New York Times

Local elections across Sri Lanka on Saturday were supposed to be about small issues, like installing street lighting for some neighborhoods and improving garbage sweeping in others. But the country’s first post-war national government has stagnated, with the governing coalition partners at each other’s throats. Suddenly, the local vote has become a referendum on the national government’s performance. And, to an extent, the results of the elections may signal what direction the island nation takes in its still-fragile transition from decades of a civil war that killed as many as 100,000 people before it ended in 2009.

Full Article: Election Losses Test Sri Lanka’s Leader, and the Country’s Direction - The New York Times.

Sri Lanka: China’s shadow looms large in Sri Lanka local election | Nikkei Asian Review

On Feb.10, Sri Lankans will go to the polls to vote for their local representatives. But the outcome of these village elections will have much wider repercussions as they will ultimately determine if China will play a bigger role in Sri Lanka’s development. The battle for Sri Lanka’s heartlands is being fought out by the country’s twice defeated pro-China former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and the incumbent pro-India coalition government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. 

Full Article: China's shadow looms large in Sri Lanka local election - Nikkei Asian Review.

Sri Lanka: Government Set To Abolish Executive Presidential System | NDTV

The Sri Lankan Government is set to move a resolution in Parliament next month to convert the House into a Constitutional Assembly which will initiate the process of drafting a new Constitution and abolishing the executive presidential system. The government has noticed the Parliament of the motion to convert the House into a Constitutional Assembly and it has been placed in the parliamentary order book as upcoming business in the New Year, officials said. The officials said that the Parliament will be transformed into the Constitutional Assembly on January 9 when President Maithripala Sirisena is due to address the House to mark the beginning of his second year in office.

Full Article: Sri Lanka Set To Abolish Executive Presidential System.

Sri Lanka: Parliamentary elections genuine, ‘well administered’ – European election monitors | Colombo Page

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) that was in the country to monitor the Sri Lanka parliamentary elections held on August 17 said the election was well-administered and genuine although the campaigning was restricted with excessive rules. “The 17 August Parliamentary Elections in Sri Lanka were well-administered and offered voters a genuine choice from among a broad range of political alternatives, although campaign rules were restrictive,” Chief Observer of the EUEOM) Cristian Preda said during the presentation of the preliminary report at a press conference in Colombo today.

Full Article: Sri Lanka : Sri Lanka parliamentary elections genuine, \'well administered\' - European election monitors.

Sri Lanka: Voters Reject Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Election, and Prosecution May Follow | The New York Times

Sri Lankan voters decisively rejected former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s comeback bid, election results showed on Tuesday, leaving this island nation firmly in the hands of officials intent on dismantling most of his policies and completing corruption inquiries that have been closing in on him and his family. “We have lost a good fight,” Mr. Rajapaksa told Agence France-Presse early Tuesday. The election, held peacefully on Monday with high voter turnout, determined the makeup of Sri Lanka’s 225-member Parliament. As expected, Mr. Rajapaksa easily won a seat in the chamber. But his political coalition fell short of winning a majority, which he had said would have earned him the right to be named prime minister, the second-most powerful job in the government. The final results showed that Mr. Rajapaksa’s coalition lost support in every region of the country, including areas long viewed as his political base.

Full Article: Sri Lankans Reject Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Election, and Prosecution May Follow - The New York Times.

Sri Lanka: Mahinda Rajapaksa concedes unlikely to be PM | The Guardian

Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa at first conceded defeat but later rowed back, saying instead that he was unlikely to be prime minister, as figures began to come in following parliamentary elections on Monday night. Electoral authorities said the vote was orderly; however there were fears that if Rajapaksa won a mandate to be prime minister it could trigger a prolonged power struggle with the president, Maithripala Sirisena, who has said he will not appoint him regardless of the outcome. Sirisena defeated Rajapaksa to become president in a January 2015 election. “My dream of becoming prime minister has faded away,” Rajapaksa initially told the Agence France-Presse news agency on Monday night. “I am conceding. We have lost a good fight.” But speaking later to the Reuters news agency he was less definite, saying only that he was unlikely to lead the next government.

Full Article: Sri Lanka election: Mahinda Rajapaksa concedes unlikely to be PM | World news | The Guardian.

Sri Lanka: Election Tests Pace of Postwar Reconciliation | Wall Street Journal

Voters lined up to vote in a national election Monday that will decide whether former president Mahinda Rajapaksa can stage a comeback and how fast the country moves forward with postwar reconciliation as well as economic and political revamping. Polling stations in the Indian Ocean island nation opened at 7 a.m. for Sri Lankans to choose 225 members of Parliament. Police said voting was going smoothly and there had been no major incidents as of the middle of the day. Around 75,000 police have been dispatched to ensure nothing interfered with the poll. Mr. Rajapaksa is seeking a return to power after he was ousted in presidential elections in January. The new president, Maithripala Sirisena, and his supporters accused Mr. Rajapaksa of abusing his power and building an authoritarian regime controlled by his family, which the former president denies.

Full Article: Sri Lanka Election Tests Pace of Postwar Reconciliation - WSJ.

Sri Lanka: EU to send election observers to Sri Lanka | The Hindu

After a gap of 10 years, the European Union (EU) has decided to send a 70-member delegation of observers to Sri Lanka for the August 17 parliamentary polls. The observers have been drawn from 17 member-countries of the EU. Apart from a core group of eight persons, the team has short-term and long-term observers and at least six Members of the European Parliament. Local observers, who are from the European diplomatic community in Sri Lanka, will also join the team, according to Cristian Preda, Chief Observer and a Romanian member of the European Parliament.

Full Article: EU to send election observers to Sri Lanka - The Hindu.

Sri Lanka: Political parties gear up for parliamentary elections | Colombo Page

Sri Lanka’s political parties intend to contest the parliamentary elections next month submitted their lists of candidates for the fray today to the relevant district secretaries. Acceptance of nominations for the General Election scheduled to be held on 17 August 2015, ended today at 12.00 noon, the Elections Department announced. The nomination list of the government party, United National Party (UNP), which formed a common front yesterday with several other political parties against the former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, included UPFA members Minister Champika Ranawaka and Western Provincial Councilor Hirunika Premachandra.

Full Article: Sri Lanka : Sri Lanka political parties gear up for parliamentary elections.

Sri Lanka: President dissolves parliament, clearing way for early election | The Guardian

Sri Lanka’s president dissolved parliament on Friday, a government spokesman said, in an effort to consolidate power and push through political reforms. Two government officials said elections will be held to elect a new parliament on 17 August. The president, Maithripala Sirisena, who was elected on 8 January, needs parliamentary support to push through reforms he has promised, including limits on the powers of the executive presidency. The timing of the parliamentary elections is also important. The United Nations Human Rights Council is expected to release a report in September on human rights abuses during the final phase of the war against the Tamil insurgency in 2009.

Full Article: Sri Lanka’s president dissolves parliament, clearing way for early election | World news | The Guardian.

Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka considering passing vote to Tamil refugees | Fulton News

If Sri Lanka’s government moves a special parliamentary bill to empower Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in South Indian in the coming weeks, over 50,000 refugees of Sri Lankan origin will be able to vote at the forthcoming parliamentary election. Officials at Sri Lanka’s Election Commission have signalled that the vote can be facilitated if Sri Lanka, together with the Indian administration, prioritize the creation of legal structures for overseas voting. “Many other countries have their expatriates voting, from their current location. Sri Lanka can also take that route,” said Additional Election Commissioner M. M. Mohamed.

Full Article: Sri Lanka considering passing vote to Tamil refugees | Fulton News.

Sri Lanka: Monitors say voters obstructed in Sri Lankan election | Al Jazeera

Election monitors said Thursday that voters in northern Sri Lanka were prevented from casting their ballots in an election that pits President Mahinda Rajapaksa against an ally who suddenly defected from the ruling party to run against him. The Center for Monitoring Election Violence, based in the capital of Colombo, also said a hand grenade exploded near a voting station in the northern Jaffna peninsula in the Tamil minority heartland, but that no injuries were reported. Elsewhere, voting appeared to proceed without any major incidents as people formed long lines in Colombo, and turnout was good in Tamil-dominated areas where voting had been poor in previous elections. Polls closed Thursday late afternoon and full results were expected to be announced sometime Friday.

Full Article: Monitors say voters obstructed in Sri Lankan election | Al Jazeera America.

Sri Lanka: In surprise, Sri Lankans vote in challenger to president | Associated Press

In a stunning election result that was unthinkable just weeks ago, Sri Lanka’s longtime president acknowledged Friday that he had been defeated by a onetime political ally, signaling the fall of a family dynasty and the rise of former Cabinet minister Maithripala Sirisena. Sirisena, who defected from the ruling party in a surprise move in November, capitalized on the outgoing President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s unpopularity among this island’s ethnic and religious minorities, as well as grumbling among the Sinhalese majority about his growing power and the country’s economic troubles. Sirisena, 63 and a longtime politician, was expected to be sworn in later Friday. The wider world was watching to see if the election was carried out fairly, especially since Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive in the country on Tuesday. So far, there were no signs of post-election violence.

Full Article: In surprise, Sri Lankans vote in challenger to president - The Washington Post.

Sri Lanka: President Faces Fierce Battle in Sri Lanka Vote | Associated Press

Voters went to the polls Thursday in Sri Lanka, where President Mahinda Rajapaksa faces a fierce political battle after a onetime ally suddenly defected from the ruling party to run against him. The November defection by former Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena turned the race, which Rajapaksa had been widely expected to easily win, into a referendum on the president and the enormous power he wields over the island nation. People waited in long lines to cast their votes in Colombo, while in northern Jaffna, the ethnic Tamil heartland where voting has been poor in previous national elections, there was good early turnout.

Full Article: President Faces Fierce Battle in Sri Lanka Vote - NYTimes.com.

Sri Lanka: Monitor accuses ruling party of violating election rules | Reuters

Supporters of Sri Lanka’s ruling party has repeatedly violated election laws in the run-up to Thursday’s presidential vote and has largely got away with it because police have turned a blind eye, a local polling monitor said on Tuesday. The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said there had been “unparalleled misuse of state resources and media” by the party of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose bid for a third term could be upset by an unexpected challenger from within his own ranks, Mithripala Sirisena. “There was impunity. No action was taken against the perpetrators or actions were mild,” Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, a convener of the CMEV, told reporters. He said police inaction had allowed election-related violence to mount, adding that most of those responsible were local councillors from Rajapaksa’s party.

Full Article: Sri Lanka monitor accuses ruling party of violating election rules | Reuters.

Sri Lanka: Election chief agrees new measures for vote counting | Lanka Business Online

Sri Lanka’s election commissioner has agreed to a set of proposals aimed at holding a transparent vote counting process, the bar association of Sri Lanka said. The proposals for the upcoming presidential election include, polls monitors to be informed of the results of the counting centers before making it officially announced. “All the proposals forwarded by us on vote counting have already been accepted”, the association president Attorney-at-Law Upul Jayasuriya told LBO. The proposals had been made in consultation with the election watchdogs including PAFFREL and CaFFE.

Full Article: Sri Lanka’s election chief agrees new measures for vote counting: Bar Association.

Sri Lanka: International observers fear voter intimidation before election | Daily Mail

International observers said Sunday they had received complaints of voter intimidation before this week’s Sri Lankan presidential election, in which the incumbent faces a tough battle to win an unprecedented third term. The 55-member panel of monitors told reporters they had already received complaints that the military had set up 400 roadblocks to discourage minority Tamils from voting freely in former war zones. “According to the opposition these roadblocks are to keep away the voters… (but) we are told (by the authorities) that the military has no role to play in these election,” said the monitoring team leader S. Y. Quraishi. “We are yet to see that.” He said international observers would Monday begin fanning out to the 22 electoral districts across the island to check out the final rallies.

Full Article: Sri Lanka monitors fear voter intimidation before election | Daily Mail Online.