‘Government has violated election code’

  • Govt allegedly distributed a huge sum of money to cadres of ruling parties

Kathmandu, November 24

Three poll observer organisations today alleged that the government had violated the election code of conduct.

Organising a pre-election press meet here today, National Election Observation Committee , General Election Observation Committee and Sankalpa said that appointments, transfers and promotions of civil servants and security personnel were rampant after the election code of conduct was enforced.

The organisations also said the government had distributed huge sums of money from the state coffers to cadres of ruling parties to influence polls and also expand the Cabinet several times.

“The Election Commission appeared helpless this time too. The poll panel merely sought clarifications for code violations,” said NEOC General Secretary Gopal Siwakoti. He said the election body used to be powerful in the past but not anymore.

According to Siwakoti, the EC deviated from its ethics by transferring its own secretaries several times after the election code of conduct was enforced and also used unnecessary facilities. “EC’s jurisdiction was compromised. It seems that the EC does not want confrontation with the government and wants to appease all,” he said.

The organisations also alleged that parties and candidates were largely indifferent towards the implementation of the election code of conduct. GEOC Chairperson Himalaya Shumsher JB Rana said parties and candidates did not follow the poll expenditure ceiling fixed by the election body.

“Questions would be raised about the fairness of elections if parties and candidates try to win elections at any cost,” said Rana.

The EC had fixed an expenditure ceiling of Rs 2.5 million expenditure for a parliamentary candidate and Rs 1.5 million for provincial candidate. He said low voter turnout was likely in the mountains and highlands due to cold.

Chief Election Officer Ayodhi Prasad Yadav, however, said at an interaction here that the government had adhered to the election code of conduct.

“There has not been any serious breach of poll code by the government. The government has transferred employees only with our consent. If the government does not do that then we have the power to rescind the government’s decision,” Yadav added.