EC bringing laws to stop flamboyant election campaigns, expenses

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Kathmandu, Sept 9: The Election Commission has proposed comprehensive amendments and revisions to the prevailing election-related laws to address the voices raised in the society to make elections clean, free, fair, safe and economical.     

In the draft of the bill designed to integrate laws related to election it is proposed to limit the election campaign, reduce the silent period and make the expenditures by candidates and parties transparent, said Shaligram Sharma Paudyal, spokesperson of the Commission.     

After questions were raised about anomalies that take place during the silent period, the ECN has proposed to limit the silent period to 24 hours. The draft of the Bill designed to Amend and integrate Election Laws also proposes various measures to stop unnecessary election-related expenses and make income and expenses transparent.     

Likewise, a strict provision has been made to fulfil the quota for women in election nominations and candidature. Furthermore, the candidates will have to submit the property details of themselves and their family members while filing the nominations.

It has been proposed to give a 50 per cent discount on the deposit amount in case of Dalits, women, people with disabilities and economically disadvantaged or gender and sexual minority candidates.     

The limit of election expenses has been proposed to be based on the geographic condition of the constituency, distance, polling station and number of voters, and transportation accessibility while the details of election campaign income and expenses should be made public.     

It has also been proposed that financial assistance during elections can only be obtained by disclosing the details. Furthermore, donations are required to be taken through banking accounts, receipts should be given, and the source should be disclosed when receiving more than 50,000 rupees with no conditions imposed.     

Candidates or parties must submit the details of the actual expenses of the election within 45 days after the announcement of the election results. A provision has been proposed to impose fines and imprisonment for taking or giving cash and goodies to the general public or voters during elections. (RSS)

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