Bill seeks to make parties pay for their cadre's vandalism

Published On: October 3, 2016 10:45 PM NPT By: Ashok Dahal  | @ashokpillar

KATHMANDU, Oct 4: A draft bill for amending laws related to political parties has proposed making the parties pay for the damage to public or private property caused by its cadres and supporters.

The Home Ministry included these provisions with a view to end the practice of political cadres involving in vandalism, arson and other attacks in the name of strikes.

The authorities came up with the new provisions believing that the current laws are two weak to discourage such acts as the cadres easily get released after engaging in hooliganism.  

According to clause 56 of the bill, which was registered in the parliament a few days ago, individuals or pubic offices can drag political parties involved in causing damage to the district court within 45 days of such incident demanding compensation.  

“The office bearers of respected political parties will be held responsible for paying the compensation,” reads the provision. 

Until now, anybody who suffers damage due to an act of vandalism, arson or other damages from cadres of political parties have no way to get compensation from the state or the political parties. 

Similarly, the bill also proposes to make it mandatory for the central committee members or office bearers of any political party to submit their property details to the party office within two months of their election to the post. 

The bill has increased the fine for failing to conclude party general convention or submit audit report in time to the commission to Rs 50,000 from existing Rs 100 when they. 

The bill also includes a provision that allows two or more political parties contesting election to use the same common election logo during the election. Similarly, the amendment bill has also proposed allowing two or more political parties merging each other or forging unification. Though political parties have been merging with each other, there is no clear legal provision on the issue. 

The bill has however proposed easing the registration process of a political party with the commission. As per the bill, registering a new political party would require commitment from 500 people to join the party and copies of their citizenships as well as voter identity cards. 

Earlier, it was mandatory to submit signatures of 10,000 people to register a political party. 

The government is set to table the bill, including two other election-related bills, in the House on Tuesday. The government has also registered a bill aimed at amending and integrating duty, responsibility and jurisdiction of the Election Commission and a bill to amend and integrate laws related to the voters' list at the parliament.

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