Election authority proposes axing defiant partiesThe Election Commission (EC) has proposed scrapping the registration of political parties if they do not submit an audit report every year.
The Election Commission (EC) has proposed scrapping the registration of political parties if they do not submit an audit report every year.
A provision under the existing Election Commission Act states that the registration of a party could be scrapped if it fails to submit necessary documents to the election body.
In a draft bill on Election Commission Act submitted to the government, the election body has proposed that the registration of a political party ceases to exist if the concerned party do not submit audit report after six months from the end of the fiscal year, according to EC Commissioner Ila Sharma. “Once the registration is scrapped, the party cannot contest elections under the registered name and the party’s election symbol will be frozen for a year,” she said.
The provision was proposed to ensure that the political parties become serious about transparency on their financial transactions.
The EC has held discussions with the political parties on the issue and they have been positive towards the reforms initiated by the commission, Sharma added, “We want the government to keep this provision as it is when it presents the bill at Parliament.”
The stricter provision has been drafted into the bill at a time when the EC is mulling action against 11 political parties for violating the rules for three consecutive years since the fiscal year 2012-13.
Only one of the 12 fringe parties facing deregistration has clarified to the EC for its inability to furnish an audit report. Political party leaders and experts have termed the EC’s proposal as part of the reforms initiatives to make political parties more responsible towards the people.
CPN-UML leader Surendra Pandey has welcomed the EC’s attempt to set a system on financial transparency. “There have been efforts from the EC to bring discipline among political parties in the recent years, and it is another one,” he said.
Former auditor general Bhanu Prasad Acharya said although there are many reforms needed in political parties, the move to reduce the timetable for deregistration for not submitting an audit report is itself an important step towards reforms. “The provision of political parties requiring submission of an audit report will help the parties build their credibility among an electorate,” he said.