Batticaloa UPFA candidate M.S. Zubair, who was the former Minister of Health in Eastern Province, is maintaining a campaign office in the first floor of the Eravur Post Office, which is located in a land owned by the Postal Department, says the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE).
This office had been given to the former Minister Amir Ali only for one year on January 17, 2006. Since that, the postal department has taken many attempts to regain the office premises, says the election monitoring group.
Even after the provincial election was declared, the Postmaster General had requested to hand it over on July 26 this year, however the candidate had not given any favorable reply to the request, Executive Director of CaFFE, Keerthi Tennekoon says in a letter addressed to the Elections Commissioner.
“According to the PCE/2012/04 circulation issued on 2012.06.30 regarding the Provincial Elections, this ignorance is a clear election law violation.”
CaFFE claims that offences such as bribing, which is a violation of the election law, are taking place at this premises.
“This place has been used to distribute Bicycles, Sewing Machines and dry food to the voters,” it said.
Tennekoon says that the Eravur Post Office has only very limited floor area, in the ground floor as the UPFA candidate is using the head postmaster’s official residence forcefully for his office.
He further reminds that in 1994, Official Polling Cards were stolen from the Eravur post office and that eventually, the acting head post master at that time and three other employees were arrested over the incident.
“In the upcoming provincial election also, occupying the post office by a candidate, does not assist to conduct a free election in there,” the Executive Director of CaFFE stressed while requesting the Election Commissioner and the Postmaster General to look into the matter, and take necessary steps to remove the election office.