210 candidates have been disqualified from taking part in the local government elections. These candidates, all of whom had been members of a political party, were disqualified as it has not yet been one year since they resigned from their respective political parties.
Actually all of them had resigned from their political parties more than a year ago. All of them were automatically deemed to have resigned as far back as 2008 when they did not renew their memberships with their respective parties.
But Section 206 of the Election Act requires that any resignation or removal from a party “…shall be immediately notified by the concerned party office in the print media with a copy submitted to the Election Commission.” It turns out that both the political parties failed to publish the names of these deregistered members in the print media or to notify the Election Commission as soon as their memberships had expired.
Therefore, the ECB has ruled that the 210 candidates are not eligible to participate in the local government elections. They’ve been disqualified. But they’ve been disqualified through no fault of their own. In fact, the fault – for not announcing their resignations in the print media and for not informing the Election Commission in time – lies with the political parties.
So the ECB should punish the political parties. If electoral laws have been broken, it is because of them, not their ex-members.
And the ECB should allow the 210 candidates to take part in the elections. They have not broken the law.
Photo credit: Kuensel