KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 23
Amidst reports of the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML trying to promote participation of public post holders, including teachers and government employees, in their upcoming general conventions, the Election Commission issued a press release today warning parties against giving membership to teachers, professors, or government employees.
It said that as per Section 14 (2) of the Political Party Act, a party cannot grant membership to incumbent professors, teachers, or government employees.
Stating that multiple laws prohibited incumbent professors, teachers, and government staff from becoming members of a political party, the poll panel urged parties to respect the legal provision and carry out their activities in accordance with the prevailing laws. The EC also warned political parties that it would not update their records if they issued membership to professors, teachers, or government employees, violating the legal provisions.
The poll panel also directed its provincial and district offices to remove names of professors, teachers, and government employees from the parties' office bearers' lists.
According to recent media reports, both the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML are allowing teachers and professors to become representatives for their upcoming general conventions.
Spokesperson for the Election Commission Shaligram Sharma Paudel said the EC would remove professors, teachers, and government employees from lists of office bearers of political parties if they were found to be elected or nominated by their respective parties. Asked if the EC would invalidate political parties' general conventions for allowing professors and teachers to become general convention representatives, Paudel said the EC would remove names of teachers and professors from the office bearers' list, but the concerned government agencies would act against the erring parties for violating prevailing laws.
UML central committee member Surya Thapa, who is the deputy chief of the party's publicity department, told THT that his party had issued membership to teachers, but had not allowed them to become general convention representatives. He said his party would abide by legal provisions, but if the EC issued the press release to serve vested interests of others his party would not accept the EC decision.
A version of this article appears in the print on November 24, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.