By Saman Indrajith
Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya says that six out of 35 presidential candidates in the fray have failed to submit their declarations of assets and liabilities so far.
Out of the six candidates who have so far not handed over their asset declarations, one is a candidate of a prominent party and the other five are independent candidates, Deshapriya told The Island.
Asked to divulge the names of the candidates who had not handed over their asset declarations, Deshapriya refused to do so, claiming that it was beyond his ethical mandate.
He, however, said that all candidates who were supported by MPs elected to current parliament had complied with the Elections Commission’s request to submit their asset declarations.
Deshapriya said that the Commission had written to the six candidates who had failed to hand over their asset declarations on Oct 10 and informed that if any one of them would win the election, then that winning candidate would have to submit his asset declaration before taking the oath of office. Even if those candidates end up losing the election, then they would still have to do so by Jan 06, 2020 otherwise the commission would take measures to file charges against those who fail to declare their assets within the stipulated period. The candidates had also been asked to put up their asset declarations in their official websites, Deshapriya said.
As per the provisions of the Section 2 (1) of the Presidential Election Act, all candidates contesting the Nov 16 Presidential Election should make a declaration of their assets.
Deshapriya said that all assets and liabilities of those who contested the last General Election in India had been published by that country’s media and Sri Lanka politicians should take that as a worthy example to follow.