non-compliance of election returns
BY MATTHEW VARI
Six Members of Parliament may be investigated by the Ombudsman Commission next month for breaches of the Leadership Code.
Most MPs in the 111-seat Parliament have complied with 2017 National Election requirements by filing election returns with the Registry of Political Parties and Candidates.
Registrar of Political Parties and Candidates Dr Alphonse Gelu said the six non-compliant MPs, which he refused to name, would be investigated by the Ombudsman Commission in January 2018.
“We will hold the names back but it has come to a point where we will say enough and I will disclose the names and at the same time I will write to the Ombudsman Commission (OC) to refer them for misconduct,” Dr Gelu said.
“That is very clear. We are trying to give them the opportunity to come and submit but they will still have to be fined.”
A K2000 fine along with K840 each for 42 days since the October 31 deadline lapsed. That will then blow out to K12,000 fine and K7320 for all 61 days lapsed by January 1, next year for all six MPs.
“I will write individually to these MPs to tell them that they are now referred and we will do it. Some gave their returns late and have accepted to pay the fine and those payments will go to Finance.”
Under section 89 of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates.
A successful candidate is required to lodge with the registrar a financial return specifying details of contributions received and details of expenditure incurred in connection with the election.
The financial return should contain each contributor, name and address, date of contribution receipt, where contribution was made either in cash or in another form and the amount and expenditure particulars of those.
Chief Ombudsman Michael Dick said he was aware of the issue and would act when he receives instructions from Dr Gelu.
Dr Gelu also indicated that political parties and MPs that lodged their returns and were being verified by his officers to ensure all information were in place.
He said that parties without MPs that have not submitted their election expenditure reports would not be deregistered but will face fines. Only failure to produce annual reports for two successive years would qualify for instant deregistration.
“The election it is a one-off thing which comes every five years; we will fine them and the payment is quiet high K5000 and more for the days after the October 31 deadline.
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