Wednesday, June 23, 2010

No vote for the IDPs in camps again:

The registration of the IDPs who were resettled in Mullativu and Kilinochchi and the amendments to the electoral registry are not been properly carried out claimed Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE.)

Although the revision of the electoral registry commenced over three weeks ago those who reside in IDP camps and many who have been recently resettled in Mullativu and Kilinochchi areas have not received the preliminary survey forms. CaFFE has identified Mallavi, Mullativu, Paranthan, Weralabadapaththu, Madu, Vavuniya North and Manthei West Divisional Secretariats as areas that are thus neglected by the officials.

It is unlikely that those who still live in the IDP camps will be resettled before the deadline for the electoral registration expires. Therefore the Department of Elections is obligated to visit the IDP camps and conduct the necessary activities. This step is vital since this is the only chance to ensure their right to vote.

There are 209 electorates in the Kilinochchi, Mannar and Mullativu. Because of the war the Department of Elections were not able to revise the electoral registry of 76 electorates in 2008 and 2009 which lead to many losing their franchise in the recently held elections. Also the registry includes many who have been either killed or have left the country. The voter registry of Jaffna and Kilinochchi does not include the National Identity Card numbers which leaves space for election malpractices.

According to the experience of election monitors around the world maintaining an accurate electoral registry is vital to ensure a free and fair election. This is also paramount in reestablishing representative democracy in the war ravaged north. Therefore CAFFE believes that the Department of Elections, Civil administration and civil society organizations should focus on the successful revision of the electoral registry in the North.


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