Financial transparency: Barring PTI, all major parties file details of assets


ISLAMABAD: 

Except for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), almost all the major political parties have submitted statements of their accounts to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), as the last date for filing such details expired on Thursday.

“A total of 45 parties have submitted details of their assets, including all mainstream parties with the exception of the PTI”, an ECP official told The Express Tribune.

“The PTI leadership, in a letter, has sought time from the ECP for filing statement of accounts,” the official said, adding that the party has said it could not consolidate assets details in time due to hectic election-related activities.

Interestingly there are over 230 political parties registered with the ECP; however, most of them are one-man show parties with no formal organisation.

“Every political party has to submit to the Election Commission, within 60 days from the close of each financial year, a consolidated statement of accounts of the party, duly audited by a Chartered Accountant,” says the Article 13 of the Political Parties Order, 2002.

The last date for filing statement of accounts falls on August 29 every year. The provision was added to the election laws during Musharraf’s military regime in an attempt to bring transparency to the electoral system.

Under the law, a political party can contest elections only if it has been filing its yearly statements of accounts regularly and has submitted a certificate that it had gone through intra-party elections.

According to Article 14, a party, which fails to submit its statement of accounts, will not be eligible to obtain election symbol for contesting elections.

After the May 11 general elections it is the first time the political parties have filed details of their assets.

ECP notifies winners of August 22 by-polls

The ECP has announced the names of the winners in the August 22 by-polls.

Except for the two National Assembly constituencies, where results have been withheld on reports that women had been barred from casting their votes, the unofficial results for the rest of the 13 NA seats have been made public.

Among the 26 provincial assembly constituencies that went for by-polls, the ECP has ordered recounting of votes in PP-150 Lahore. The results for the rest of the constituencies have been announced.

But, the official notification of the winners is issued once the candidates fulfill all legal provisions including filing details of their election expenses to the election authorities.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2013.