Parties barred from accepting donations from NGOs, govt agencies

Published On: January 28, 2017 01:10 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

-Motorbike/vehicle rallies banned 
-Wall paintings/pamphleteering on public/private walls prohibited

KATHMANDU, Jan 28: The parliament on Friday endorsed the Election Offence and Punishment Bill which bars political parties from accepting financial assistance or donation from the governmental and non-governmental agencies. They will however be allowed to accept donations offered by private individuals and the private sector.

The bill has a provision that if any NGOs are found to be offering political donations and if any political parties, candidates or their representatives are found to be accepting such donations then both the donors and the recepients can be fined up to Rs 100,000. Earlier the government's draft of the bill had only proposed fining Rs 25,000 to candidates if they are found deploying unauthorized persons for making election-related expenditure. The endorsed bill has given continuity to the provision as well.

Furthermore, the Election Commission (EC) can direct the political parties or candidates to submit such donations at the commission if they are found taking money from government agencies or NGOs. 

If a government agency is found providing donations to the political parties or candidates, the responsible officials would face departmental actions. 

The bill also has a provision of barring political parties from organizing motorcyle rallies or vehicle rallies as part of election campaign. 

The new law will come into effect after President Bidya Bhandari authenticates the bill.

The Election Offence and Punishment Bill also bars political parties and candidates from writing wall graffiti and pasting posters and pamphlets on any public or private walls.

Clause 24 of the bill has stated that if any parties and candidates or individuals are found to be flouting the ban they will be ordered to remove the pamphlets or pain the wall again to bring them on original condition. Wall paintings are also common in the country during the polls. 

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