ANFREL launches election assessment of 2020 Sri Lankan polls, briefs election volunteers

Election volunteers of the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) participated in a one-day online pre-deployment briefing on 31 July 2020. They will be gathering information for ANFREL's assessment of the 2020 Sri Lankan Parliamentary Election.

Six election volunteers were given an orientation on the political and electoral system of Sri Lanka and were familiarized with election observation standards and guidelines. ANFREL also provided additional orientation on health and security measures while on the field as the 2020 Sri Lankan election is held amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

They will be deployed in six electoral districts in the country from 3 to 7 August 2020 to interview electoral stakeholders and observe election activities especially on Election Day, 5 August 2020.

ANFREL staff and election volunteers during the online pre-deployment orientation.

ANFREL originally intended to send a full-fledge international election observation mission for this election but due to the current restrictions under the COVID-19 pandemic, ANFREL decided to conduct an election assessment with foreigners currently living in Sri Lanka as election volunteers. This election assessment follows 11 previous election observation missions ANFREL has conducted in Sri Lanka since 2001.

Prior to the deployment of election volunteers, ANFREL election experts have been conducting interviews online and gathering information remotely as part of ANFREL's election assessment activities.

The ANFREL Assessment of the 2020 Sri Lankan Parliamentary Election is guided by ANFREL's methodology, tailor-fitted to comply with the Declaration of Principles and Code of Conduct for International Election Observation. ANFREL, along with six other domestic election observers, also endorse and enforce the COVID-19 Code of Conduct for Election Observation in Sri Lanka.

Amaël Vier, ANFREL Program Officer for Capacity Building and International Election Observation, gives an overview of the health guidelines for the conduct of the Sri Lankan polls.

ANFREL is the only Asian international non-governmental organization accredited by the Election Commission of Sri Lanka for the 2020 Parliamentary Election. ANFREL aims to promote democratic norms and good electoral practices through this election assessment mission.

Formed in November 1997, ANFREL has established itself as the preeminent regional NGO in Asia working on elections and democracy promotion. ANFREL focuses on election observation as well as capacity building and development for national civil society organizations and election management bodies that are actively working on democratization in their home countries.

Since its formation, ANFREL has operated in more than 65 elections in 17 countries across Asia. Our long-term aim is to build expertise on elections and governance in the region, entrenching a culture of democracy that is seen as locally developed rather than externally imposed. Through observing elections in other countries, our observers have developed a strong understanding of international best practices – knowledge that can then be applied in their respective home countries. For more about ANFREL, please see www.anfrel.org.


For more information, you may contact the following:

Ms. Chandanie Watawala, Mission Director, chandanie@anfrel.org, +66631753221 (WhatsApp), +94767514628 (Sri Lankan Mobile)
Mr. Amaël Vier, Mission Coordinator, amael@anfrel.org, +66634985783 (WhatsApp)

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