Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)
EC ready to face any challenges in conducting polls
While Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi on Friday night gazetted the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (Elections) Regulations No 1 of 2020, it contained no reference to PHIs or their powers. It outlined guidelines for the conduct of election meetings, door-to-door campaigns, election offices and polling stations and premises.
The Election Commission, which had wanted PHI participation in the poll, will now hold discussions with relevant authorities--including the
Health Ministry--to fill the gap. “Either way, there must be representatives on polling day, be they nurses or doctors or others, to handle matters related to the pandemic,” the official said.
In the event of a lockdown in one or many areas, a separate polling location will be organised with high security measures including personal protective gear and sanitisation to ensure affected voters to participate in the election. There are also plans to apply heat by a special method to the ballot papers after they are handed in by such voters.