Details of assets, liabilities of election candidates to be made public

Special Details of assets, liabilities of election candidates to be made public
(Photo courtesy: APP)
Updated 21 June 2018
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Details of assets, liabilities of election candidates to be made public

Details of assets, liabilities of election candidates to be made public
  • In 2013, the ECP published details of candidates’ nomination papers online, but removed them from its website in 2014 due to pressure from MPs

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday said it will make public the details of assets and liabilities of all candidates taking part in the upcoming 2018 general election.

“There are millions of documents that will need to be properly vetted and placed, so it will take time, but it will be shared with the public on the ECP’s official website,” commission spokesman Altaf Ahmed told Arab News.
“It’s the law to make public all information relevant to the decision and inspection of a voter. It’s public information, and we intend to make it public.”
According to the Election Act 2017, the ECP is bound to publish “the statements of assets and liabilities received by it… and any person may obtain copies of a statement of assets and liabilities on payment of a prescribed fee.”
The information — including all declarations, statements and affidavits — will be made available online for public consumption. The ECP is taking steps to ensure transparency in the election process, Ahmed said. 
On June 20, the commission made public information on the assets of prominent candidates, including former President Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan, and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Maryam Nawaz.
According to the details revealed, Zardari owns assets worth more than 758 million Pakistani rupees ($6.23 million), Khan more than 3.8 million rupees, and Nawaz 845 million rupees.
Last year, Khan earned 4,776,611 rupees from agriculture, his salary and bank profits. He does not own a vehicle or any businesses, and paid 303,763 rupees in taxes in 2017. The cricketer-turned-politician owns 14 properties across Pakistan.
Nawaz earned 845,953,559 rupees in the financial year 2017. A shareholder in several companies, she owns jewels worth 1.7 million rupees.
Zardari earned 134,016,650 rupees from his agricultural business last year. His earnings from other business totalled 9,751,400 rupees, and he paid 2,632,490 rupees in taxes. He owns 349 acres of agricultural land, and 7,399 acres of farmland obtained on lease.
In 2013, the ECP published details of candidates’ nomination papers online, but removed them from its website in 2014 due to pressure from MPs.
When asked if the ECP would buckle under pressure again, Ahmed said: “We haven’t encountered any opposition to the decision yet, but even if there’s conflict our decision won’t change. We’ll sit together and come to a mutual agreement.”
He added: “The information is for public consumption. We can’t deprive voters of a right guaranteed by law, and we’re also bound by that law. It will help voters make the right decision and ensure transparency in the electoral process.”