TISL insists corrupt persons should not be given nominations

Saturday, 20 July 2013 00:34 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) yesterday urged party leaders and party secretaries not to nominate persons who have been charged with bribery, corruption, child abuse, rape and other abuses, for the upcoming provincial council elections in the Northern, North Western and Central Provinces. TISL also requested political parties and independent groups that the candidates should be instructed to declare their assets and liabilities to the Commissioner of Elections before handing over the nominations. In addition, TISL has drawn the attention of political parties to the provisions 104 (b) and (4-a) in the Constitution which prohibit the use of state property, whether movable or immovable, for election purposes. This applies to all state institutions including Government corporations. TISL wants the candidates kept informed of these provisions. “During the past one year, over 50 members of provincial councils and pradeshiya sabhas have been accused of murder, bribery and corruption, rape, child abuse and other offences and legal action is being taken against them,” TISL said. TISL believes that nominating such persons prevents the voters from exercising their franchise meaningfully to select a people’s representative with integrity. The election of corrupt persons has serious effects on the society and country as well. Making the declaration of assets and liabilities compulsory deters persons with ulterior motives from contesting. At the same time, the voters get an opportunity to check on the integrity of the candidates. Thus it is of vital importance that all party leaders insist that the prospective candidates should abide by the Commissioner’s directive relating to assets and liabilities. It has been proven that during the past decade political parties and candidates had grossly violated the provisions on the use of state property. TISL thus hopes that party leaders and secretaries will seriously take steps to see that such misuse of state property is avoided or at least minimised.