Declare assets before poll: AG’s advice sought

The Elections Department has sought the advice of the Attorney General to make the assets declaration by presidential candidates mandatory.

An Elections Department official said they had sought the clarification soon after the southern provincial elections, and were awaiting a response.

Currently the assets and liabilities declaration laws are non-binding. It means that even though the Elections Commissioner has intimated to the candidates that they would need to declare their assets, there is no requirement to do so prior to the poll.

Candidates were informed that they would need to declare their assets when they handed over their deposits but the law requires assets declaration to be made within three months and hence they can do so even after the end of the election.

According to the Assets and Declaration Act, this information cannot be made public and can be called for only by the Bribery Department, the AG’s Department, the Commissioner General of Inland Revenue and the Head of the Department of Exchange Control.

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