1,900 poll code violation complaints filed at EC

Kathmandu, November 4

A total of 1,900 complaints regarding violation of the election code of conduct have been filed at the Election Commission. However, the poll panel has not taken action against anybody for poll code breach.

As per the existing law, EC can slap a fine ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 100,000 against an individual found violating the poll code. The poll panel also can scrap candidature of an individual for such breach.

EC received the complaints after August 21 this year. According to Spokesperson for EC Naba Raj Dhakal, most of the complaints are related with transfer and promotion of civil servants and foreign visits made by them .

He also informed that the poll panel prohibited any spending from the Constituency Development Fund over concerns about possible misuse of the fund.

It has also banned the use of mufflers or scarves bearing  an election symbol during the election campaign, he added.

Former chief election commissioner Neel Kantha Upreti told THT that the EC should take action against those found violating the poll code. “The fine of 100 or 200 rupees seems minimal, but it has a huge symbolic meaning,” he added. He also argued that such action would  create moral pressure on candidates to obey the election code. ‘Even if the EC just publishes the violator’s name, the voters would know about it and they would punish the candidate by not voting for him or her,” he said.

Dhakal further said the election code could not be as effective as the law. “Though we have provisions for penalties, the election code of conduct is basically more of a moral obligation on the part of poll candidates and political parties,” he said.