By Zacki Jabbar
The National Democratic Front (NDF) yesterday said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s attempt to hijack the electoral process by abusing military and government power at yesterday’s Presidential Election had failed badly due to the indefatigable efforts of the Polls Chief and the Inspector General of Police.
Speaking on behalf of the NDF Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena, his Election Agent Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe MP told The Island shortly after the counting process had begun that the Rajapaksa regime was trying to take the credit for a largely peaceful and major incident free polling day, but its blatant violation of election laws had been prevented due to the indefatigable efforts of the Elections Commissioner (EC) Mahinda Deshapriya and the Inspector General of Police N. K. Illagakoon.
The EC’s directive to the IGP ‘shoot to the head’ had worked wonders and that was the reason why there had been no violent incidents, Wijeyadasa noted.
The military had, he said, been used liberally especially in the North to intimidate Tamil voters even on polling day which had resulted in some of them keeping away, but the presence of the Police with specific instructions to shoot had thwarted that attempt to a large extent.
Wijeyadasa regretted that President Rajapaksa had acted in the most disgraceful manner by claiming that UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa would join him at Kesbewa during his final campaign meeting and going to the extent of using the Rupavahini Corporation to announce yesterday morning that Premadasa had joined the government . “This sort of thing never happened before. The false allegation was corrected only around 12 noon after some damage had been done and that too after the EC had gone to the television station and insisted that a correction be made. Throughout the campaign our supporters were attacked, killed and election stages burnt,” he said, adding that the President had even taken R. A. Sirisena another candidate, who had paraded as Maithripala Sirrisena to the Medamulana Polling station and made a public spectacle of him, which would go down as biggest joke of the entire election.