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Members who have not declared their assets to be exposed

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has decided to expose and make public the names of the elected candidates at the October 8 local elections and have not declared their assets. The names will be published and later on the list will be handed over to the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) and the Attorney General’s Department for further action.

Consultant at the Department of Elections, Siri Medawewa revealed this participating at the ‘Sambhashana’ outreach programme organized by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) at the J R Jayewardene Centre on Monday, 31 October. He was of the view that this course of action would help to build transparency in the election process.

He added that for the first time since 1991, those who were elected at local government elections were required to declare their assets and liabilities to the Election Secretariat before 31 October 2011. He was unable to indicate the number of those who had made the declarations since the figures were not available at the time he spoke.

He also stressed the need for the immediate introduction of laws making it mandatory for candidates of various political parties and independent groups to declare their assets before submitting their nominations for any election.

Four high level officials from the Elections Department were present at the programme. After explaining the current status with regard to the legislation on the declaration of assets and liabilities, Mr Medawewa fielded questions from the audience.

TISL was prompted to organize the programme in the backdrop of the Elections Commissioner’s directive that those who were elected to local authorities should declare their assets and liabilities before 15 October. The date was later extended till the end of the month.

At the election conducted on 8 October, 420 candidates were elected to 23 local bodies including 17 municipal councils. Of the elected members 271 were from the UPFA. Besides, 131 members have been elected from the UNP, six from the JVP and 15 from the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

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