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PAFFREL demands timely publication of election manifestos to foster responsible political culture

April 30, Colombo (LNW): Peoples’ Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) has underscored the importance of political parties releasing their election manifestos well in advance of any electoral contest, whether it be a Presidential or Parliamentary poll.

This proactive approach would be is crucial for nurturing a more responsible and informed political culture within the country, PAFFREL emphasised.

Expressing concern over the prevailing practice in which political parties in Sri Lanka often unveil their policy statements merely a month or so before an election, PAFFREL’s Executive Director, Rohana Hettiarachchi, emphasised that there is a need for a more transparent and timely dissemination of these manifestos.

The current approach deprives the public of the opportunity to engage in substantive discussions on the proposed policies and initiatives, he noted.

Addressing a programme in Colombo aimed at promoting a responsible political culture by urging political parties to issue timely and accountable policy statements, PAFFREL convened representatives from political parties, civil society organisations, government officials, and media personnel.

During the gathering, various challenges hindering the prompt and credible publication of election manifestos were identified and discussed.

Election manifestos should ideally be released at least six months before the scheduled election date, the PAFFREL Chief underscored, lamenting, however, that the current practice often sees manifestos being publicised only after the nomination process has concluded, depriving voters of adequate time for scrutiny and deliberation.

The event saw the presence of MPs such as Dallas Alahapperuma, Prof. Charitha Herath, Prof. Tissa Vitharana, and several other key stakeholders.

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