Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Case of Two Who Got Away

The case of the two civil servants who have been allowed by the ECB to register themselves as candidates of two political parties contesting the Primary Rounds, while still being employed as civil servants, is most intriguing. It will be interesting to see how the ECB and the RCSC will resolve this issue and still remain within the bounds of their respective laws.

The ECB has taken the stand that their rules do not require a candidate to produce NOC from their last employers - atleast not for the Primary Round of Elections. Therefore, in their interpretation of the rules, the two civil servants need not produce NOC from their employers - the RCSC - implying that the ECB is still within the rules - in having accepted their candidatures.

Fair enough. However, the fact that these two civil servants have not yet been released from their government jobs means that they are still civil servants. Thus, even if it were to be accepted that no NOC is required to be filed by these two government employees, how can the ECB justify accepting the candidatures of two APOLITICAL persons to be registered as political party candidates? That is most definitely against their rules.

The third issue is that even if we accept that the Electoral Rules in force do not require the ECB to require candidates of political parties to file NOCs from their last employers; that even if we were to accept that two APOLITICAL persons were erroneously accepted as candidates to an elective office, what will the ECB's stand be - should the RCSC decide to terminate the two civil servants - on the grounds that (a) they have broken the rules of employment in the civil service and (b) that they have gone against the ECB Rules, as well as their own, which requires them to be apolitical while still being employed as civil servants?

We have to remember that one other rule of the ECB clearly states that no persons terminated or dismissed from their jobs can be accepted as a candidate of a political party.

It will also be interesting to see how the RCSC will rule. Their rule clearly states that it is an offense for a member of the civil service to be engaged in any form of political activity.

One of the reasons given out by candidates and political parties is that ECB has given them insufficient time to organize themselves as a result of which some of them were hard-pressed to come up with the required number of 47 candidates. That is rather lame - like the DPT President said in response to a similar question during the President’s Debate at the RTC, it would be shameful of any one to say that five years is too short a time in which to organize themselves.

If political parties do not have the wherewithal to organize 47 candidates in five years, I want to know how they are going to govern this country? Something serious to ponder about!


  1. okay...let's see how these two agencies, known for their stringent stance on rules figures a way out.

  2. Dear Yeshey, I liked your article as it has made me also think deep. It now appears BKP would have qualified if they have used the same tricks. What a mess we have created for ourselves.

  3. oh...?! PPpinnkh ? And unless there is a pun hidden somewhere there, since when did DCT turn into DDSP ?

  4. Unfortunately the ECB Chairman is not as apolitical as he portrays himself to be, his family members are strong PDP party workers and this would only mean that he too would have a soft spot for the PDP. If it were not so, he would have disqualified the PDP by now and the only reason DCT has not been disqualified is because if they were disqualified, ECB would then have had to disqualify the PDP too. And the reason BKP is not making a scene is because the BKP too is somewhat aligned with the PDP. Looks like the 4 parties are doing their level best to see that the DPT does not return to power, though that will only be wishful thinking on their part.

    But if the ECB Chairman does not clarify himself, his reputation as a fair, no nonsense guy will be shred to smithereens. I hope, for his sake, he does the right thing.

  5. There will always be people who will try to play dirty for their own benifit. But the Rule of the Law must reign supreme. I am hopeful that the concerned august institutions will respect the law, and do what they are supposed to do.