EC seeks 24-hour clarification from Nepal, two others

Kathmandu, August 29

The Election Commission today sought clarification from former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal regarding violation of election code of conduct.

A meeting of EC office bearers, including Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav, held at the EC’s central office in Kantipath directed former PM Nepal to submit clarification within 24 hours.

“The former PM and senior CPN-UML leader Nepal has been directed to furnish clarification within 24 hours why action should not be initiated against him for participating in an election campaign with a cap sporting the party’s election symbol on it,” reads a press release issued by EC Spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma.

However, the Election Code of Conduct, 2017 prohibits the use of symbolic materials such as clothes, cap sticker, logo, bag and tattoos that contain the election symbol of any candidate or political party during the silence period only.

On the clarification sought from former Nepal though the silence period is yet to start, Spokesperson Sharma refused to confirm whether it was a violation of poll code of conduct or not. “It is the EC office-bearers’ decision and I don’t want to react more to it,” he added.

The EC said a complaint was lodged against Nepal and other UML party workers for wearing caps sporting the UML’s election symbol during door-to-door campaign in Birgunj yesterday.

Nepal is in Birgunj to campaign for the third phase of local level elections, which is slated for September 18 in 136 local levels of Province 2.

Likewise, the EC has also directed Ram Babu Singh, a central committee member of Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal, to submit clarification within 24 hours. The EC said a complaint was lodged against Singh for organising a rally that used 100 motorcycles in Ramgopalpur Municipality-5.

Similarly, the election body has also directed Shyam Shrestha, a probable mayoral candidate of Golbazar Municipality from the CPN-UML, to furnish clarification within 24 hours. Shrestha had organised election a rally with over 250 people, including 100 motorcycles, four tractors and five Scorpio jeeps.

The EC has also cautioned RJP-N not to display black flags and pelt stones targeting former PM Nepal in Janakpur. The EC has asked the RJP-N to honour right to organise election campaign freely and not to be involved in such activities against any party in future.