The Election Commission has decided the Silent Period for the General Election 2020 will come into effect from August 02 midnight, despite the decision taken to allow candidates to carry out election propaganda on August 03.
It was previously agreed at the Party Secretaries’ meeting held on July 26 to grant approval for visiting residences to canvass and distribute handbills on August 03.
However, the Election Commission has elections laws relating to the Silent Period should come into effect with effect from midnight on August 02 as per usual, stated the Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya.
The decision has been made in consideration of the matters raised at the July 26 meeting, the disturbances encountered in the propaganda campaigns due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation, and on the basis of the prevailing legal implications, objections raised by various stakeholders, the risk of setting bad precedence, the disturbances that may cause to religious observances on August 03 as it is a Full moon Poya day, activities related to the election, and the resultant security concerns as police officers will have been called for election duties.
Thereby, the Election Commission stated that one should abstain from any propaganda activity, including conducting propaganda meetings, conducting pocket meetings or house meetings, visiting residences to canvas, distributing handbills, displaying advertising, placards at proclaimed party officers, and displaying posters, placards, banners, during the said Silent Period.
The Commission further said that it is expected all political parties, groups, candidates would abstain themselves from any of the aforesaid activities during the Silent Period.
Further, all police officers have been instructed through the IGP to pursue action to prevent all aforesaid illegal activities from taking place during the Silent Period, stated the Election Commission.