TIN has written to the Chairperson of the Legislative Committee of the Parliament amidst media reports that some member of parliaments had tabled amendments which allows the re-entry of legally barred convicted politicians early into politics against current provisions. These amendments, as reported, were proposed in the bills related to election of Federal Parliament and Provincial Assembly being discussed at the legislative committee. The letter was sent after consultations with important stakeholders in an interaction titled, ‘Political Parties in the yardstick of integrity and transparency’ held in Kathmandu on Bhadra 2, 2074 (18 August 2017). More than 60 personalities from different sectors – members of parliament, government officials, civil society, TI Nepal family, media persons, researchers, NGO representatives participated in the program, where the issue was deliberated lively. The essence of TI Nepal deliberation and the letter is to support integrity and democratization within political parties.
Marking the 22nd establishment day of Transparency International Nepal, a paper on the issue was presented at the event by TIN President (Sr. Advocate) Shree Hari Aryal highlighting increasing corruption in Nepal, lack of interest of political parties to check it, worsening situation of internal democracy in political parties and the need to stop possible criminalization of politics. He mainly highlighted the two election related bills under consideration at the Parliament and strongly opposed any amendments that dilute the current provisions related to barring convicted politicians from active politics. Hon. MPs Prakash Jwala, Ram Chandra Yadav, Rewati Raman Bhandari and Ram Narayan Bidari pledged to work against any such move and committed their support to strengthen the bills. Other speakers included Former Acting Auditor General Sukadev Kharti, TI Nepal Treasurer Ram Krishna Manandhar (Sneh Sayami), Former President of the Federation of Nepalese Journalist Dharmendra Jha and TI Nepal members amongst others. Known public figures, in their remarks, supported TIN stand and expressed deep concern on the lack of accountability at the political front.
Eminent personality and former VC of Tribhuvan University Kedar Bhakta Mathema gave a key note speech portraying a vivid picture of political numbness to sensitive public issues by narrating a series of incidents involving political leaders. He highlighted the main reforms suggested by the Mathema panel and appreciated Dr Govinda KC for single handedly working to pursue reforms in the medical education sector.
TI Nepal intends to keep a close watch on the Bills and follow up with the parliamentary committee to covey its stand as well as public concerns.