Beginning next week, the Elections Commission will start implementing campaign finance laws ahead of the presidential election this year, followed by parliamentary elections, a senior official said.
Election Commission Chairman R.M.A.L. Ratnayake told the Sunday Times that the preparation and issuing of Gazette notifications related to elections and the briefing of relevant officials and political party secretaries will begin tomorrow.
Within the next two weeks, officials from the Police Department, the Bribery Commission, the Inland Revenue Department, the Auditor General’s Department, and the Attorney General’s Department will be summoned for briefings on the implementation of campaign finance laws and resolving issues regarding their implementation.
The polls chief stated that in order to address certain implementation issues, gazette notifications would be issued, which were currently being prepared.
Mr. Ratnayake stated that during the briefings, the institutions would be informed about their role in enforcing campaign finance laws.
He stated that a Gazette notification would be issued outlining the limitations imposed on candidates’ campaign expenses. A similar gazette notification was issued for the local council elections, which were then postponed.
After the Gazette notification is issued, the relevant agencies will be expected to assist in the monitoring process of the expenses for the campaign.
Political party secretaries would be informed about the campaign limits and urged to convey to their parties the restrictions on expenses. The election monitoring groups, too, would be briefed on the implementation process.
The Regulation of Election Expenditure Bill was passed in January last year.
Source: Sunday Times