Observers charge EC lost its independence

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 27, 2017-

Election observer organisations have expressed their concern that the Election Commission has failed to maintain its independence.

Three organisations including the General Election Observers Organisation, the National Election Observer Organisation (NEOC) and the Inclusive Women Alliance for Peace, Justice and Democracy (Sankalp) jointly reviewed the scenario for the second phase of local level elections.

NEOC Chairman Surya Prasad Shrestha claimed that EC’s activities did not appear to have been carried out independently due to direct pressure and influence from the government. The organisations argued that the EC 

failed to take a strong position when the government fixed the polling date for the third phase coinciding with the festive season.

“The commission, which is responsible for enforcing the code of conduct, was found to be weak when the government suddenly transferred the EC secretary ahead of the polls,” the organisations stated.

A former chief election commissioner, Shrestha remarked that the inability of the commission to take a firm stance on technical and policy jurisdictions related to the polls had resulted in an erosion of its autonomy.

Sporadic incidents of violence before the polling day had raised serious concerns over election security. The organisations are deploying teams of observers including former election commissioners and former chief justice to several districts.

Published: 27-06-2017 08:02

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