EC against budget between two phases of local level elections

KATHMANDU: Election Commission of Nepal has concluded that bringing in the fiscal budget between the two phases of elections would not be on a par with the election code of conduct, and decided to draw the government's attention towards the matter.

A meeting of the Election Commission held discussion on the upcoming government policy and programme and the annual budget, and their impact on the elections, and made the decision, the Election Commission said in a statement.

The Election Commission observed that if brought before the second phase of elections, the government policy and programme and the annual budget are likely to influence the second phase of elections.

Protesting the decision to hold elections in four provinces in the second phase, the main opposition CPN-UML had drawn the Election Commission's attention towards the breach of election code of conduct, claiming bringing in the annual budget before the voting would influence the voters.

The Election Commission said that the election code of conduct, which came into effect on March 1, would remain effective till the conclusion of second phase of elections, scheduled for June 14.

The ruling parties were reportedly mulling the amendment of the constitution provision that would oblige the government to bring in the annual budget on mid-Jestha (May 29 this year) as the government decided to reschedule the local level elections -- originally announced for May 14 -- in Province No. 1, 2, 5 and 7 on June 14.

Even the Election Commission apparently had suggested Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to amend the provision in order to bring in the budget after June 14.