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Making candidates account for campaign funds a must during polls: PAFFREL

29 August 2015 01:56 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Local election watchdog People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) yesterday said strict election laws should be introduced to make it compulsory for candidates to maintain only one bank account for election campaigning.

PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said candidates should declare the account to the Elections Commissioner (EC) and must also be required to reveal their campaign expenses once the election was over. “Candidates should only utilize this account for their campaign expenses. Once the election was over, they should publish the summary of their campaigning expenses to the EC with details of who had funded their campaign and how they did it,” he said.

Mr. Hettiarachchi reiterated that laws should be introduced through the 20th Amendment to the Constitution to limit the election campaign expenditure of a candidate.

He said a candidate could easily get away with withholding taxes from the authorities including the Inland Revenue Department by claiming that their campaign was carried out with the funds received from friends.

“This is why we need a threshold for campaign expenses. There is already one such mechanism being used in Bangladesh where candidates are only allowed to spend a limited amount of money to woo one voter in their electorate. We too should have such a method in Sri Lanka,” he said.(Lahiru Pothmulla)

 
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  • Don Saturday, 29 August 2015 01:38 PM

    it is absolutely vital to have a level playing field during elections. Restricting expenditure is a must. at present drug lords, thug businessman etc have a field day chasing out intellectuals and professionals. The excessive spending during elections is also the cause of bribery and corruption as they have to pay back the financial backers once elected.


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