Thursday, 31 October 2019

Public representatives cannot pursue other economic activities while in office

The office of a public representative is sacrosanct - the time in office is people's time and the money is tax payer's money. So those who are elected to public office cannot conduct other economic activities while holding office. Any incomes or wealth accrued to them from pre-existing businesses during the period of office should be put in an escrow account until they demit the public office.

We find that some public representatives take advantage of the current loopholes of the system. Irrespective of the profession or practice, while in office a public representative cannot conduct other economic activity. This has to be put in place both in spirit and deed. A pubic representative's time and energies must be completely dedicated to her office and people of the constituency.

Second, when the respective legislative body is not in office, a public representative must be physically present in the geographical territory of the respective constituency. Quite often we find that people are based out of some other location and hold office somewhere else. This is not acceptable. You have to be available to your people 24/7.

We do not need public representatives who want to conduct their private businesses while holding office. That is just not acceptable in a democracy. Where is the accountability?  There are other people waiting who are much more dedicated and intelligent.

It is high time that civil society and courts question such practices and enact strict legislations to ensure better accountability among public representatives. 

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