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Sri Lanka ruling party accuses election monitors of bias

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

Sri Lanka's ruling UPFA coalition today accused the local observing groups of bias in the current electioneering ahead of the presidential poll early next year.

"These monitoring groups are biased. They are highlighting issues against the government but turn a blind eye to others," Anura Yapa, petroleum minister and the ruling party's general secretary said.

The ruling party was irked by action of the People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAAFREL), the leading polls monitoring group.

PAFFREL has written to the chairman of the state passenger bus agency to stop the abuse of the state-owned buses by the ruling party for propaganda work for the incumbent

PAFFREL charged that over 1000 state-owned buses were used in violation of laws to transport crowds to the inaugural rally of Rajapaksa.

Yapa said the polls monitors were making false allegations.

The presidential election is to be observed by over 100 international observers, election secretariat officials said.

The international observers will arrive in the island on December 27.

Some 14 million people are eligible to vote in the country's election.

Rajapaksa - who was elected in 2005 and 2010 - is seeking re-election amid signs of a drop in popularity and demands for his powers to be curbed.

Seeking a record third term after he pushed through changes to the constitution, Rajapaksa has ordered snap polls on January 8.

First Published: Mon, December 15 2014. 20:26 IST