Poll body warns parties over reporting delays

Poll body warns parties over reporting delays

Poll body warns parties over reporting delays

As a majority of political parties fail to make public the names of Central Committee members submitting property details to the organisation, the Election Commission has warned of fines.

The Act on Amendment and Integration of Political Parties-2017 requires central officials and members to submit their property details to the party office within 60 days of being elected to the post.

The party’s central office has to publish the names of the members who submitted the details of their property and those who didn’t one month after the deadline.

If any official or member of the central committee fails to submit the details, the EC may fine them Rs10,000. The concerned party is fined Rs5,000 for failing to publish the details on time.

The law was passed amid public concerns over alleged corruption and accumulation of property by some political leaders. On September 26, the EC sought clarification from the political parties that failed to notify it about the property.

“We’ve asked them to notify us about it within seven days of receiving our letter,” said EC Commissioner Ishwori Paudyal. “If they continue to ignore the legal provision, we’ll fine both the central committee members as well as the parties as per the law.”

Currently, the EC is writing to the political parties while some of the forces have received the letter from the EC headquarters. At a meeting of the parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee on Wednesday, election commissioners sought lawmakers’ help in fining the leaders and parties that have flouted the law.

According to officials, only some eight parties have notified the EC so far about the submission of property details by their central members. Among the parties currently represented in Parliament, only the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal recently notified the EC about submission of the details.

A Nepal Communist Party (NCP) representative received the letter from the EC on Thursday, according to the commission. This is the second time the EC prodded the parties after it first asked them in July by holding a meeting to respect the rule.

Although the NCP submitted the list of central committee members to the EC in the first week of June, the party is yet to inform the commission how many have submitted their details.

The Nepali Congress, which held its 13th general convention in March 2016 to elect a new leadership, has not informed the EC about party members handing in their property details.

But the major two parties said most of their leaders have submitted the property accounts to their offices. NCP General Secretary Bishnu Poudel said they were collecting the information from the party leaders. “We’ll strictly follow the EC’s instruction on this matter,” he told the Post.

According to Subas Nembang, another NCP leader, the party notified the EC earlier of its readiness to follow the legal provision although the current central committee was not elected by the general convention.

NC leaders claimed that all Central Working Committee members have submitted their property details. Congress Vice-president Bimalendra Nidhi said he had updated his property to the party and knew that many other leaders had done so.

With the law not spelling out how the parties should publish the list, EC officials said they would accept it if it is displayed on their notice board. However, officials said, the spirit of the law is that such information should be known to the general public.

-Kathmandu Post

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