The Election Commission has directed District Assistant Commissioners to check on the backgrounds of local council candidates contesting the upcoming local council elections to ascertain whether any of them has criminal records. The Commission’s Director General R.M.A.L. Ratnayake said they would also verify if former public servants contesting the polls were doing so in keeping with the election law.
The new Local Authorities Act stipulates that Samurdhi officers and other such officers who have filed nominations should not have served in the area they are contesting from for at least a year. Public service staff officers have to quit their jobs or take no-pay leave if they wish to contest an election.
He said the election officials had been asked to ascertain whether any public officials were contesting in violation of the law.
Any candidate who wins a seat but is found to have violated the law would be disqualified and would lose the seat, according to the DG.
Mr. Ratnayaka said that in the case of candidates with criminal records, party general secretaries would be informed and asked to take action against such candidates.