A decisive judgment in the history of elections

Mr. Ranga Dissanayake, High Court Judge, Moneragala delivered a landmark judgment yesterday (13), adding a momentous chapter to the history of elections in Sri Lanka.

The judgment was declared in connection with an election petition filed by Mr. W.M. Sunil Shantha who contested Maduraketiya division of Monaragala district under the United National Party (UNP) in 2018 with the assistance of PAFFREL and the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) against the   candidate (Tharanga Dissanayake) who won the above division at the last local government election by allegedly bribing the voters during the election period.

The respondents of the case included Tharanga Dissanayake who contested the same division/ward under the Sri Lanka People's Front, the Elections Commission and its members, the Returning Officer of Moneragala, Assistant Commissioner of Elections of the Moneragala district and ninety-five others.

Accordingly, the candidate who won the election by bribing the voters was deprived of his election and removed from the Councillorship of the Local Government body. The High Court Judge ordered to appoint the candidate who received the next highest number of votes to fill the vacancy created in consequence thereof.

President’s Counsel U.R de Silva appeared for the main respondent in this case while Kanishka Rajakaruna, State Counsel appeared for the government officials.Chanaka Kulatunga, Attorney-at-Law and Sampath Pushpakumara, and Attorney-at-Law appeared for the petitioner.

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