The government has issued the 'Code of Conduct for Employees Working in the Election Commission' to manage and operate functions related to elections in a fair, independent, impartial, credible, transparent, and economical manner.

The code of conduct requires employees, both permanent or on contract, working in central, provincial and district levels of the EC to maintain the dignity of their posts. "The employees shall carry out their duties and responsibilities with utmost efficiency and honesty, subject to the constitution and the prevailing laws," the code of conduct reads.

It also bars employees from discriminating against people and service-seekers on the basis of their origin, religion, race, tribe, language, gender, age, social and economic condition and political ideology, among others. "No employee shall engage in work that is not related with the functions of the EC during office hours, and use or take home office equipment and other facilities for private purpose or operation," it says.

The code of conduct makes it mandatory for the office chief or spokesperson or information officer to give an interview to media on the basis of facts and reality.

"They will not be allowed to express their personal opinions and views regarding the EC during media interviews," it says.

"No employee shall be affected or carried away by undue pressure, prejudice and temptation while carrying out his/her official duties and responsibilities. S/he shall work in an independent and impartial manner under the existing legal provisions," it adds.

The employees have also been prohibited from accept any gift or donation from any person or organisation in a manner that affects their official responsibilities.

Similarly, the code of conduct bars employees from establishing and operating any bank, company or cooperative organisation without approval of the EC. They are also not allowed to support or oppose any political party and its sister organisations.

"The employees shall maintain financial discipline and stay away from meting out sexual harassment to others. Those violating the code of conduct shall be liable to departmental or legal action under prevailing laws," it warns.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 08, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.