EC issues eight-point directive to government

Kathmandu, August 25

The Election Commission today issued an eight-point directive to the government regarding preparation for the third phase of local level elections and provincial and parliamentary polls.

The third phase of local level elections is scheduled for September 18 in 136 local levels of Province 2 and provincial and parliamentary elections will be held on November 26 throughout the country.

A meeting of EC office bearers, including Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav, held here today directed the government to immediately repair polling centres, polling stations, roads, highways, culverts and bridges of districts of Province 2 that were damaged in recent floods.

The poll panel stated that it would be difficult to launch voter education programme, reach polling centres and supply electoral materials — ballot boxes, ballot papers and other poll paraphernalia —  in polling centres if damaged infrastructure was not repaired immediately.

Voters will also face difficulties in reaching polling centres to cast votes if damaged infrastructure is not repaired.

Moreover, due to lack of appropriate government buildings in flood-hit areas, the EC has been facing problems in setting up offices of returning officers and conducting poll related activities.

According to a press release issued by EC Spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma, the poll panel cautioned the government about the violation of election code of conduct and directed it to distribute relief materials to flood victims in accordance with the election code of conduct.

The EC also directed the government to repair government buildings, including community schools, immediately, so that they could be used for poll purposes.

The poll panel also directed the government to take special precautions against activities that could be launched by elements opposed to polls, including underground outfits, during elections.

The poll panel asked the government to ensure security and prevent possible clashes and violent activities during filing of nomination, poll campaigning, voting, vote counting, announcement of poll results and victory rallies.

It cautioned the government about the open border and use of weapons during elections. It also asked the government to ensure security to the staff deployed for voter education and for conducting elections.

The meeting asked the government to ensure enactment of poll related bills and provide it with the report of the Constituency Delimitation Commission at the earliest.

In a nutshell

The government has been told to...

  • Repair damaged infrastructure in Province 2
  • Ensure poll code of conduct is followed strictly
  • Keep opponents of polls in check
  • Provide adequate security to poll staff
  • Ensure violence-free elections
  • Check infiltration of lumpen elements from across the open border
  • Pass poll related bills in the Parliament
  • Provide the EC with the CDC report at the earliest