Prez poll important for reconciliation process in Sri Lanka – EU

The European Union (EU) says that the Presidential Election 2019 is important for Sri Lanka to continue making progress on its path of reform and national reconciliation.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, has stated that the EU values its partnership with Sri Lanka. “Deploying an Election Observation Mission for the upcoming presidential election confirms our continuing engagement and commitment in support of democratic processes in the country.”

The European Union, in response to an invitation by the Election Commission, deployed an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Sri Lanka, to observe the presidential election, scheduled for November 16, 2019.

The EU, emphasizing its long history of accompanying the electoral process in Sri Lanka and, says that it has deployed EOMs on five previous occasions, the last in 2015, which reflects the EU’s long-term commitment and partnership with Sri Lanka.

Mogherini has appointed Marisa Matias, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer of the EOM to Sri Lanka.

“I am confident that the deployment of an EU EOM under the leadership of Chief Observer Marisa Matias will contribute to an inclusive, credible and transparent election. This election is important for Sri Lanka to continue making progress on its path of reform and national reconciliation,” Mogherini has further stated.

Meanwhile, the Chief Observer, Marisa Matias, has said: “It is a great honour for me to lead this EOM. I believe it is important for the EU to continue observing elections in Sri Lanka as a form of support for the Sri Lankan people and their efforts to strengthen democratic institutions. I am hopeful that our observation will provide an important contribution to this election and, through its follow-up, to efforts to further strengthen the electoral processes and institutions.”

The Election Observation Mission core team of nine EU election analysts arrived in Colombo on the 5th of October and will stay in the country until the completion of the electoral process.

The core team was joined by 30 long-term observers who were deployed across the country and will be joined by additional 30 short-term observers for the election week.

Shortly after Election Day, the mission will issue a preliminary statement and hold a press conference in Colombo.

A final report, including recommendations for future electoral processes, will be presented at a later stage, after the finalisation of the electoral process, the EU said.