Presidential elections : Good Governance activist calls for transparent disclosure by candidates | Sunday Observer

Presidential elections : Good Governance activist calls for transparent disclosure by candidates

All candidates aspiring to compete at the upcoming presidential elections must declare publicly all relevant personal details including citizenship, date of birth, National Identity Card number, highest educational attainment and a core capability statement before seeking nominations, Good Governance activist Chandra Jayaratne says.

He said candidates should also reveal his or her political track record, issue a list of ten socio economic reforms or commitments he or she wishes to commit to, along with a list of top-ten ‘Change Management Commitments to advance the interests of the nation and its people towards sustainable growth and prosperity’.

“These candidates must further affirm and declare that he/she is a “Fit and Proper” person to hold office and have no criminal records, nor subject to even any allegations pending before court or under investigation, where if convicted the penal sanctions will be over two years imprisonment,” and, “latest available assets and liabilities, interests and related party disclosures of the candidate and family,” also reveal the key sources of political and election funding.

“The candidate should also declare a personal commitments led manifesto if elected as President including the abolition of Executive Presidential Systems within 18 months by a Constitutional Amendment and replaced by a Westminster model based pParliamentary Governance system,” Jayaratne suggested.

He also said the manifesto should include a Right to Information legislative framework and effective response mechanisms with due accountability, to be further promoted and strengthened and maintained without any diminution of its present effectiveness and value to society. Jayaratne also said the presidential hopeful has to also create new independent commissions such as a new Independent Commission to optimise, co-ordinate and control State revenue collections and ensure transparent State revenue collection processes and systems are in place.

“(He or she should) ensure appointment of officials to all high posts, independent commissions and regulatory bodies are filled by persons with integrity, independence and capability track records and be processed via the Constitutional Council,” he added, while committing to eradicate poverty, empower all marginalized, disadvantaged and conflict affected families.

“It is the fervent hope that all political parties and presidential candidates will accept the above structure of transparent disclosure and binding commitments and also all civil society lead organization, both in the cities as well as at village level, will advocate for same and promote its adoption by all candidates,” the activist concluded.