Civil society raises concern over election code of conduct violation

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 28, 2017-Expressing serious concerns over violation of several electoral codes, the civil society has called for its effective implementation. 

A team of civil society members, including former election commission members, on Thursday met Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav and commissioners and suggested them to hold the local elections in a single phase on 

May 14.

They also reminded the EC that several provisions in the proposed constitution amendment bill registered by the government, including brining the policy and programme of the government and budget, would violate the election code of conduct, 

During the meeting, former chief elections commissioners, Nilkantha Uprety, Surya Prasad Shrestha, constitutional experts Nilamber Acharya and Bipin Adhikari, local development experts Shyam Bhurtel, Hikmat Bista, Mukti Rijal and Krishna Prasad Sapkota drew the attention of the EC officials towards some of the recent decisions taken by the government related to the local level polls. 

While submitting a memorandum to the EC chief Yadav, the civil society members said that the gap between the two elections would subject voters to manipulations. The government has announced that the elections in Provinces 3, 4 and 6 will be held in first phase on May 14, and in Provinces 1, 2, 5 and 7 on June 14.

Some of the government decisions like restructuring of some provinces and a bid to increase the number of local units after the announcement of the elections are against the code, they said in the memorandum. 

The government on Wednesday decided to split some parts of Nawalparasi and Rukum districts. Some parts of the two districts will go to the polls on May 

14, while others will vote on June 14.  

They also urged the EC to tell the government that the budget cannot be presented between the two elections. 

“The budget should be presented before the first round of polls or after the second round,” the memorandum says. “It is better to hold the polls in an interval of one week.” They also pointed out EC’s decision to count votes immediately after the first round of elections as a serious breach of electoral code, allowing room for manipulations. “This proposal has seriously jeopardised the elections process,” Uprety told reporters after the meeting.

The EC officials assured the civil society members that they would put up their concerns before the government.

Published: 28-04-2017 08:27

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