The All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) welcomed the European Union Election Observation Mission to Sri Lanka’s Presidential Election (EU EOM) with open arms on 29 October. ACMC stressed EU EOM’s arrival strengthens the electoral efforts of all political parties, especially minority parties such as ACMC in the Presidential Elections of November 2019. “Your scrutiny strengthens Sri Lanka’s democratic election process. It also encourages minority parties such as our ACMC,” said Leader of ACMC, Vanni District MP Rishad Bathiudeen. ACMC Leader and Minister of Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development & Vocational Training Bathiudeen, joined by ACMC officials, was addressing the Political Analyst of European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) Sri Lanka 2019 Ms Mary Boland and her team in Colombo on 29 October.
In comments to Ms Boland and her colleagues, MP Rishad Bathiudeen, said: “Minority parties such as ACMC are handicapped by many shortcomings and one of our main fears is possible malpractice or manipulation. Sri Lanka Election Commissioner and his teams have been doing a good job. Thanks to Election Commissioner’s strong stand, many malpractices and violence at ground levels have been avoided so far. However, news reports of many violations are seen in the media. In this situation, your scrutiny strengthens Sri Lanka’s democratic election process. It also encourages minority parties such as our ACMC in a very constructive way and we thank the people of EU for this support to our democracy.”
Analyst Ms Boland said: “The EU has a well-established long-term methodology for observing elections. Since 2000, we deployed over 150 EOMs across the world. We do so with strict adherence to our code of conduct which demands impartiality, neutrality and non-interference.
“The mission’s mandate is to provide an expert, comprehensive assessment of the electoral process. It assesses Sri Lanka’s compliance with the international commitments it has made through various human rights instruments.” said Ms Boland, adding one of the objectives of EU observation was to enhance public confidence in the electoral and democratic processes.
She said: “We will issue a preliminary statement a few days after election day in Sri Lanka, assessing the electoral process up to that point. The mission’s overall conclusions will be presented by the EU EOM Chief Observer, Marisa Matias, a Member of the European Parliament from Portugal, in a final report only after the end of the electoral process, usually about two months later. The final report will also offer recommendations to improve future electoral processes.”
ACMC has pledged its support to Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa of the UNP led alliance New Democratic Front (NDF).