The Monaragala High Court has ordered the removal of a candidate who won the last Local Government Election by bribing voters.
Election monitoring body the People’s Action for a Free and Fair Election has commended the ruling as a landmark judgment in the history of elections.
PAFFREL issued a statement saying the judgment has been issued in respect of a case filed by PAFFREL in collaboration with losing candidate and the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence against a candidate of one of the local government bodies in the Monaragala District for offering various bribes to voters.
The judgment declared the candidate who had purportedly won the seat by bribing the voters as null and void and accordingly was removed by order of the Court and the candidate who had secured the next highest number of votes was ordered to be appointed to fill the vacant position.
The election watchdog said the ruling will serve as a deterrent to future candidates in bribing voters, adding that their election will be liable to be challenged subsequently.
In addition, PAFFREL highlighted the need for enacting laws to limit election expenses by candidates and the provision of a level playing field for all candidates in an election has been re-emphasized.
They claimed it is important to note that the implementation of the Right to Information Act has paved the way for procuring the information required for this victory.