- EC receives complaints on officers attached to Education, Health, Agriculture and Mahaweli, Industry and Construction, Samurdhi and Social Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government attending such programs
The Election Commission yesterday warned public officers should not attend workshops, discussions, get-togethers, or receptions of political nature organised during the election period.
“The Election Commission is in the receipt of complaints alleging that public officers with political rights and the staff officers without such rights have in their capacity as trade union leaders or members attended receptions and programs organised in the disguise of meetings or trade union meetings by candidates contesting the election at their residences/reception halls,” Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said, issuing a statement.
It also pointed out that investigations are underway into the complaints alleging that staff officers and non-staff officers, particularly in the fields of Education, Health, Agriculture and Mahaweli, Industry and Construction, Samurdhi and Social Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government have attended such programs.
“Front line activists and members of trade unions comprising stall officers without political rights should ensure that they do not attend such receptions/meetings, and the Election Commission opines that it is appropriate for the trade unions of public officers with political rights to follow suit,” the statement said. In addition, complaints alleging that trade unions of staff officers without political rights have engaged in election propaganda activities, having invited politicians with no interest whatsoever in the profession the trade union represents to workshops, discussions, get-togethers, receptions organised by such trade unions or groups of such trade union members during the election period.
The Election Commission emphasises the need for all public sector trade union activists to abstain from engaging in such actions leading to complaints i.e. to abstain from inviting politicians for such of events.
“The Election Commission also stressed that all in the public service, irrespective of whether they have political rights or not, should distance themselves from political engagements, and that trade unions of public officers should abstain from directly engaging in political activities during the election period in order to uphold their trade independence,” the statement said.