The Election Commission has requested  all public officials to avoid attending or directly engaging in events and activities of a political nature in the run-up to the 5 August parliamentary elections.

The EC said in a statement it has received complaints that both staff officers as well as public sector workers who have “political rights”  have in their capacity as trade union leaders or members attended receptions and programmes  organised  in the guise of meetings by candidates contesting the elections at their homes or reception halls.

The EC said investigations are underway into the complaints adding that staff officers and non-staff officers in the Education, Health, Agriculture and Mahaweli, Industry and Construction Samurdhi and Social Services, Provincial Councils & Local Government ministries have attended such programmes.

The EC said the complaints allege that TUS  of staff officers  have engaged in election propaganda activities having invited politicians  with no interest whatsoever in the  profession  the trade union represents  to workshops, discussions, get together, receptions  ogansied by them  during the election period.

The EC emphasised the need for TUs to stop inviting politicians to such events.

“All in the public service irrespective of whether they have political rights or not should distance themselves from political engagements and abstain from directly engaging in political activities during the election period in order to uphold their trade independence,” the Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said in a statement.