Polls code comes into effect, bans helicopter use for campaigning

KATHMANDU: The election code of conduct issued by the Election Commission for the local polls announced for May 14 has come into effect from today.

The Election code of conduct bans the parliamentarians from attending any foundation stone laying and inauguration ceremonies of development projects in their constituencies and use of helicopter during the polls.

The EC said it is fully determined and responsible for holding the election in a free and fair atmosphere in the country.

However, sitting ministers have expressed discontent over some conditions included in the code of conduct mainly the banning them from attending any foundation stone laying and inauguration ceremonies of development projects.

They said they should be allowed to visit the respective election constituencies and villages to attend such programmes as scheduled in the government policy, programmes and the budget statement.

Chief Election Commissioner Dr Ayodhi Prasad Yadav said the election scheduled for May 14 was the election of local level not the national level and ministers were not allowed to attend such events as they represented the government.

On the occasion, CEC Yadav demanded the government send the report of the Local Level Restructuring Commission to the EC soon.

The EC has completely banned the use of helicopters (except for people involved in election related works) for other purposes by the government and political parties added Yadav.

On the occasion, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Bimalendra Nidhi said the government had enforced the' Local- Level Election Security Plan' and made other security arrangements bearing in mind the local pool scheduled for May 14.

According to him, government plans to mobilise over two thousands hundred security personnel during the election. The Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, National Investigation Commission and Nepal Army personnel would be moblised during the election informed the Home Minister.

He also further added that a temporary security personnel will also be hired to mobilise during the local polls.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara pledged the timely release of budget necessary for conducting the election. He was of the view that the code of conduct for the local poll should not be a hurdle in the implementation of the regular development works.

Minister for Urban Development Arjun Narsingh KC said the election code of conduct should not bar ministers to attend the foundation stone laying and inauguration ceremonies in their respective constituencies and hometowns.

Minister for Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation Jeeban Bahadur Shahi questioned the government, "How it would conduct the election in remote areas without the use of helicopter?"

Election candidates, political parties, the government, local bodies and public organisations, employees, media, non government organisations, observers and other stakeholders would follow the code of conduct.