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EC asks Treasury for Rs. 7 b for election expenses

The Election Commission (EC) has asked the Treasury to allocate up to Rs. 7 billion for expenses related to the upcoming Presidential Election, Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday.

“We had estimated the election to cost around Rs. 4 to Rs. 4.5 billion but with 35 candidates in the running, the cost has gone up,” he said.

Deshapriya said the spiked costs will go towards additional personnel would have to be placed on election duty while larger ballot boxes and more spacious venues will have to be found for use as counting centres. “One fourth of the allocations will go to the Police Department who have to engage in election related work such as removing posters and banners and monitoring election law violations,” he said.

Deshapriya also said he expects around 80-85% of registered voters to cast their votes at this election.

“In Elpitiya we saw a great deal of enthusiasm among voters with polling over 80% in some wards. I believe there will be a high turnout at the Presidential Elections too,” he said.

(FT)

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