Hundreds of PR candidates snub Election Commission’s finesCandidates ranked low on lists, who have no hope of being elected, wish to be delisted.
As many as 385 candidates, who are on the proportional representation (PR) lists of parties for parliamentary and provincial assembly seats, have ignored the warning of the election body to delist them as they themselves wish to be removed.
With this awkward situation, the warning of action by the Election Commission seems ineffective to the candidates, who have no hope of becoming lawmakers since they have been ranked low on the PR lists and hence little chances of becoming lawmakers.
According to officials at the Election Commission, the candidates having no possibility of being selected didn’t bother to pay their fines while those ranked higher on the lists and have higher chances of becoming lawmakers have already paid their dues soon after the commission published notice.
“There are many reasons for the PR candidates ignoring the commission’s warning,” said a senior officer at the Election Commission asking not to be named. “Some of the leaders said anyone listed low on the PR lists has no possibility of becoming a lawmaker but this can restrict them from many other opportunities.”
Those on the PR list cannot be candidates for the National Assembly and cannot fight by-elections first-past-the-post (FPTP) candidates in by-elections, if any.
He said those candidates who ignored the warning of the election body wish to be delisted saying their parties were just using the list to bind them to the parties.
Actually the possible action to be taken by the Election Commission should have been a lesson for the candidates but it has turned into a kind of farce as many of the candidates themselves want to be delisted and therefore ignored the warning.
The Election Commission will publish the final lists of PR candidates on October 26.
“We will take action against the candidates failing to pay the fines imposed by the Election Commission,” said Guru Wagle, assistant spokesperson of the Election Commission.
Issuing a press statement, the commission had allowed the candidates of the May 13 local polls to submit their fines which ranged from Rs50,000 to Rs750,000 on Saturday as well.
According to Wagle, a total of 439 candidates of the local polls failing to furnish their election expenses were listed as PR candidates for the November 20 federal and provincial polls. Among them only 54 candidates have paid their fines to the commission.
“As many as 32 candidates had paid their fines before October 18 and the remaining 22 paid theirs by Saturday,” Wagle told the Post. “Now the rest of them will be removed from the PR list before the commission publishes the final list.”
There are also concerns among officials of the Election Commission that removing the candidates who do not pay the fines could affect the clusters of different sections of society.
But the office bearers seemed to be eager to take action against them also because the move would not be much controversial as the candidates themselves wish to be delisted.
Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Thapaliya said the commission will not spare anyone flouting the law and the election code.
“The Commission will make a decision regarding them soon,” said Thapaliya.
The commission has already collected Rs43.425 million in fines from 125 candidates of the local polls who failed to submit their election expenses.