Sri Lanka holds mock election to test virus measures

Published June 15, 2020
COLOMBO: An election official, behind a plastic sheet, marks the finger of a voter with ink during a mock election to test the guidelines implemented against the coronavirus in Sri Lanka’s Kalutara district on Sunday.—AFP
COLOMBO: An election official, behind a plastic sheet, marks the finger of a voter with ink during a mock election to test the guidelines implemented against the coronavirus in Sri Lanka’s Kalutara district on Sunday.—AFP

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka staged a mock election on Sunday to test measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus during a parliamentary vote in August.

The poll was due to be held on April 25 but was put off and then postponed indefinitely due to the epidemic, which official figures show has infected nearly 2,000 people and killed 11.

The election commission said the vote would be held on August 5.

The island nation of 21 million people has steadily lifted its lockdown restrictions, although a night curfew remains.

The new health measures — to be implemented at polling booths and counting centres — were trialled in four of the 22 electoral districts, commission chairman Mahinda Deshapriya told reporters.

“We were very pleased to see that all those who volunteered to take part in this exercise today wore face masks,” he said.

“Officials and polling agents will be behind clear plastic screens or wear face shields. We have also ensured that voters will stand a metre apart when they queue up.” Voters will also be required to bring their own pen or pencil to mark ballot papers.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who won a landslide at November’s presidential polls, has been hoping the parliamentary vote would secure his party a two-thirds majority and give him sweeping powers to govern the nation.

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2020

Opinion

Editorial

24 Jan, 2022

Anti-extremism policy

HAD there been more far-sighted policymaking on the part of the state and an understanding of how religious ...
Government’s silence
Updated 24 Jan, 2022

Government’s silence

A MAJOR trial is underway in London during which Pakistan has repeatedly been mentioned as the place where payment...
24 Jan, 2022

Cutting mangroves

FOR Karachi, the mangrove cover along its coastline is a thin line of defence against potential oceanic and climatic...
Yemen atrocity
Updated 23 Jan, 2022

Yemen atrocity

The sooner this war is ended, the better, to halt the suffering of Yemen's people and ensure security of all regional states.
23 Jan, 2022

Regressive taxation

THE FBR appears to have kicked up a new and unnecessary controversy by serving notices on currency dealers to ...
23 Jan, 2022

Medico-legal flaws

ON Friday, a 13-page verdict authored by Justice Ali Zia Bajwa of the Lahore High Court revealed a shocking fact...