PM, ministers directed to comply with poll code

Kathmandu, March 5

The Election Commission today asked Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and his Cabinet ministers to strictly comply with the election code of conduct, which was enforced on March 1.

EC has issued the directive to the government, as it is flooded with complaints of poll code violation by the prime minister and his Cabinet colleagues.

Issuing a five-point directive, the EC asked PM Dahal to take prior permission from the commission for using private helicopter to participate in political programmes.

The EC has also asked the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers not to indulge in election campaigning.

The commission has also directed ministers to take prior permission for using government vehicles for government work and private vehicles for taking part in political programmes.

“We have told them not to go out of district headquarters,” said Spokesperson for EC Surya Prasad Sharma. He said the commission had directed the agencies and ministries concerned to ensure that ministers did not take part in election campaign.

The election body has also directed the Parliament Secretariat to prevent misuse of government resources and vehicles by members of Parliament in campaigning for a particular political party or candidate.

The commission has asked the government not to hold election of any organisation except pre-scheduled election programmes of universities, school management committees and professional organisations in government institutions.

The EC has directed Public Service Commission to put job interview process on hold in cases where employees are selected only through interview until elections are over.

“We are serious about preventing code violation,” said Election Commissioner Sudhir Shah. He said the commission was flooded with complaints of poll code violations and request for permission to use helicopters and government vehicles to participate in political programmes.

Majority of complaints have been filed against ministers and lawmakers. Majority of requests for permission to use vehicles etc are also from ministers and lawmakers, besides programme organisers.

The EC has been holding meetings on election code violation and granting permission to use vehicles etc twice a day, with deputy attorney general, law secretary, under secretary, legal officer and government attorneys.

Meanwhile, EC is awaiting a copy of the endorsed report on the number and boundaries of local levels, which is essential to start preparation for local elections.

The commission needs endorsed LBRC report to decide about polling centres and setting up local election offices.