Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya has urged parties and candidates to remove all poll related promotional and sponsored content from the social media - Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok, or any such platform, as the silence period starts at midnight today.

Addressing a press briefing here today, Thapaliya requested all the candidates to remove sponsored content and not to post or share any content that violated the election code of conduct.

The EC has also directed Nepal Telecommunication Authority to ensure that no poll related promotional content was shared or posted on social networking sites during the silence period.

The EC has also directed NTA to prevent the dispatch of bulk messages with the objective of campaigning for any candidate.

The EC has also requested all the government and non-government organisations and offices to announce public holiday on May 13 so that citizens can exercise their right to vote peacefully in free and fair way.

According to a press release issued by the Election Commission, 355 candidates representing political parties and 35 independent candidates, including six ward chairpersons, have been elected unopposed to local bodies.

The EC has set up 10,756 polling centres and 21,955 polling booths for the upcoming polls. As many as 17,733,723 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise. As many as 35,221 posts are up for grab, including those to which candidates have been elected unopposed.

A total of 100,988 government employees and 65,865 volunteers have already reached their polling centres.

Sixty-five of the 79 political parties registered with the EC are contesting upcoming polls. A total of 145,011 candidates are in fray.

The EC has deployed 19 high-level teams in sensitive areas with the power to take action against violators of poll code. They have been authorised to take audio visual details of poll code violators and the teams have also been asked to monitor social networking sites.

The EC has warned against any attempt to unduly influence voters or intimidate them during the election process. It said the EC has made adequate provisions for security in the run-up to the election process.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 11, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.