Limits on the Election Expenditure “Unrealistic”

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The Election Commission has put an expenditure limit for candidates competing for the posts in the upcoming elections. EC fixed Rs. 550,000 limits for candidates of mayor and deputy mayor of metropolitan cities. Rs. 450,000 for candidates of chief and deputy of municipalities and Rs. 350,000 for candidates of chief and deputy of rural municipalities.

Rs. 300,000, Rs.250,000, Rs. 200,000 and Rs. 150,000 expenditure limits for the candidates of ward chair and members of a metropolis, sub-metropolitan cities, municipalities and rural municipalities respectively. EC puts limits as it believes elections should not be costly.

However, Khemraj Regmi, Former President of Transparency International Nepal said that the limits set were unrealistic and the candidates could easily disobey and submit a fake expenditure report. Without a strong mechanism to control the election expenditure, these unrealistic limits will encourage candidates to fake details of the expenses, said Regmi.

Regmi added, the EC has set the expenditure limit that was applied the last Election that took place 5 years ago. The inflation has risen and even mentioned that a candidate competing for the post of mayor or deputy mayor would realistically need between 20-25 lakh for their Election Campaign.

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