Sikkim Krantikari Morcha chief disqualified upon conviction, cannot contest elections until 2024: HSP

Gangtok: The Hamro Sikkim Party has accused the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha of electoral malpractice after it declared its president P S Golay as a chief ministerial candidate, with the HSP claiming he stands disqualified upon conviction for corruption. HSP spokesperson Biraj Adhikari alleged Sunday that Golay was convicted and sentenced to 12 months in prison by a sessions court in Sikkim and hence he stands disqualified from contesting elections until 2024.

Golay was convicted for corrupt practices when he was the minister for animal husbandry from 1996, Adhikari said. The Sikkim High Court upheld the verdict of the sessions court and dismissed his appeal in June 2017, Adhikari said. Consequently, Golay spent 12 months behind bars and his sentence ended on August 10, 2018, he said. According to Section 8 of the Representation of People’s Act a person convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act cannot contest an election for a period of six years from the date of completing the prison term, Adhikari said.

Thus, Golay has lost his right to contest election until August 10, 2024, Adhikari claimed.

Since only seven months have passed since he was released from jail, the chief ministerial candidate of SKM cannot contest the 2019 assembly elections or any by-election, the HSP spokesperson said.

“If he cannot contest any election now or within six months from now, how will be become a chief minister?” Adhikari asked.

“In fact, he cannot even contest the 2024 Sikkim assembly elections,” the HSP spokesman claimed. The SKM had on Saturday released its final list of candidates and projected Golay as the party’s chief ministerial candidate. This amounts to “electoral malpractice”, Adhikari said.

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