NON-DECLARATION OF ASSETS: ELECTION LAW LIMITATIONS PREVENT PROSECUTION
Elections Commissioner cannot take any action against the candidates who fail to present their declaration of assets and liabilities due to the shortcomings in the election law, Advisor to the Elections Commissioner Bandula Kulatunga said.
“We have announced to declare their assets and liabilities. We can’t force them to do so. Since the law does not say what must be done to those who fail to provide it,” Kulatunga said.
According to him the Department will not reject candidates’ nomination papers if they have not handed over their declaration of assets and liabilities. “How can some of these candidates spend so much on bill boards and cut outs? Some are spending more than Rs. 20 million for their campaigns and one gets the idea that they will try to recover their expenses after coming into power ” Kulatunga said. Only 10% of the nominees presented their declaration of assets during the past election, Kulatunga said. Although the Elections Act calls for a declaration of assets it is easily violated due to the shortcoming within the Act itself, he added.
Kulatunga said the declaration of assets was an essential requirement that would help identify and investigate allegations of corruption and underhand dealings amongst politicians that should be answerable to the public. “Income Tax Department and the Bribery and Corruption Commission can question them (politicians) based on their declaration of assets. The public will be able to trace the money that is genuine and that which is not,” Kulatunga said.
No comment yet.