According to statistics released by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), all candidates from the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) contesting the upcoming General Election have submitted their assets and liabilities declarations to the Department of Elections.
Speaking to The Nation, National Coordinator of TISL’s Program for the Protection of Public Resources, Shan Wijethunga noted all 262 candidates contesting from the JVP had already submitted their assets and liabilities declarations. The JVP was the only major political party where all candidates had submitted their assets and liabilities declarations before the August 5 cut-off date set by Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya.
The Jana Setha Peramuna (JSP) meanwhile, has also obtained a 100 percent record in submitting assets and declarations, with all 243 of its candidates having submitted their declarations.
Statistics released by the TISL further revealed that 72 percent of the 6,151 candidates contesting the upcoming General Election have submitted their assets and liabilities declarations by the deadline.
Accordingly, 244 out of 262 candidates from the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and 241 out of 262 United National Party (UNP) have submitted their declarations. A total of 196 of the Democratic Party’s (DP) 235 candidates and 34 out of the 44 Tamil National Alliance (TNA) candidates have also submitted assets and liabilities declarations.
Wijethunga said while there was no legal requirement for candidates to submit assets and liabilities declarations before the date of election, they would like to see a change in the law that would make it mandatory for candidates to submit these declarations when they hand in nominations to contest. “Assets and Liabilities Declarations have a major role in ensuring the integrity of elections. It would also help to limit the number of proxy candidates who contest simply for the benefit of other parties,” he pointed out.