Landmark judgment about bribing the voters in elections | Daily News

Landmark judgment about bribing the voters in elections

A landmark judgement was delivered yesterday in connection with bribing the voters in elections.

The judgement was given in respect of a case filed by PAFFREL in collaboration with loosing candidate and the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence against a candidate of one of the local government bodies in the Moneragala District for offering various kinds of bribes to the voters at the last local government elections by the High Court Judge (Monaragala), Ranga Dissanayake.

The judgment declared the candidate who had purportedly won the seat by bribing the voters as null and void and accordingly he was removed by order of the Court and the candidate who had secured the next highest number of votes was ordered to be appointed to fill the vacant position.

This historic ruling will serve as a deterrent to future candidates in bribing the voters. Even if they continue to bribe, their election will be liable to be challenged subsequently.

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Historic judgment from Moneragala

Court nullifies LG Member post over bribing to win election

Moneragala High Court Judge Ranga Dissanayake delivered a landmark judgment on Monday (13), opening a new chapter in the history of elections in Sri Lanka, People's Action For Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) said in a media statement today.

PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said that it was atimely reminder that bribing the voters at future elections would result in the perpetrator losing the seat.

This judgment has been given in respect of a case filed by the PAFFREL in collaboration with the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV). The case was against a candidate of one of the local government bodies in the Moneragala District for offering various kinds of bribes to the voters at the last local government elections. The judgment declared the candidate who had purportedly won the seat by bribing the voters as null and void and accordingly he was removed by order of the Court and the candidate who had secured the next highest number of votes was ordered to be appointed to fill the vacant position.

“This historic ruling will serve as a deterrent to future candidates in bribing the voters. Even if they continue to bribe, their election will be liable to be challenged subsequently. In addition, the need for enacting laws to limit election expenses by candidates and provision of a level playing field for all candidates in an election has been re- emphasised. It is important to note also that the implementation of the Right to Information Act has paved the way for procuring the information required for this victory,” Hettiarachchi said.

“We were compelled to pursue this case in the midst of many obstacles. The two lawyers who have given their utmost commitment in this case while certain institutions that ought to have supported our endeavour had avoided their responsibility, deserve the respect and gratitude of all those who value democracy. This achievement will certainly be a source of joy to the election officials who have supported it sincerely. Also we wish to thank all the civil society representatives and staff who have worked hard towards this achievement,” he added. 

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