News / Asia

Sri Lankan Government Disputes Eligibility of Opposition Candidate in Presidential Election

Even before the results have been announced for the country's first peacetime Presidential election, Sri Lanka's .  His main rival is the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa. 

While vote counting was underway late Tuesday, the country's foreign minister, Rohita Bogollogama told reporters the government would go to court to declare the former military chief, Sarath Fonseka, ineligible to run for president because he is not even a registered voter. 

"It's an act that will be bordering on criminal lines," he said. "You deceive the public to believe that you can be elected when in fact the consequences may be you are not entitled or eligible or suitable to be elected."

Mr. Fonseka acknowledges he was not able to cast his ballot because his name was not on the voter registration list.  While balloting was still going on, the former general told reporters that despite the glitch he is legally qualified to be elected and serve as President.

"But am I qualified as a Sri Lankan citizen for all purpose as per the Article 31-1 of the Constitution," said Mr. Fonseka.

The country's Election Commissioner, in a written statement, is supporting Mr. Fonseka's interpretation of his eligibility. However, top government officials contend that is just an opinion and it will be up to the courts to make a legal ruling on the matter.

Before voting began, the two main political camps of Mr. Fonseka and incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa traded accusations of election laws violations and of preparing to use force, should the results not turn out to their opponent's satisfaction. Both campaigns are expressing confidence they will win the Presidential election when final vote tallies are released around mid-day, Wednesday.

It is estimated that more than 65 percent of eligible voters went to the polls nationwide Tuesday.  But fears of violence and intimidation - and lack of transportation - are partly blamed for keeping turnout as low as 20 percent in the Tamil-dominated North and East.

With the Sinhalese vote believed to have split between the president and his top challenger,  minority Tamil voters are seen as possibly critical to swinging the election.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid