EC enhances mechanism to monitor implementation of code of conduct

Kathmandu, 12 May : The Election Commission (EC) has activated its mechanism to monitor the implementation of election code of conduct during the silence period of local level elections taking place on Friday, tomorrow.

The election code of conduct has been in force since April 8 and it is further intensified during the silence period beginning 48 hours before the voting day.

The EC on April 11 sought a 24-hour clarification with CPN (UML)’s deputy general secretary Prithvi Subba Gurung and CPN (Maoist Center) Bagmati province committee member Ganga Dahal for violating the code of conduct during the silence period. The two were charged of seeking votes for candidates of their favour during this period.

The EC has structures at its various levels to check the possibility of the breach of code of conduct by political parties, election candidates and other parties. There is a committee under the coordination of the Election Officer to monitor the implementation of code of conduct at the local level while a central code of conduct monitoring committee functions under the coordination of a commissioner who looks after EC monitoring affairs while the district code of conduct monitoring committee works under the coordination of the District Chief Election Officer. Assistant election officer has been designated monitoring officer.

Besides these structures, 17 special monitoring committees have been deputed in those districts and local levels considered especially sensitive areas in view of the election.

The team shall intervene immediately if any political party or election candidate is found violating the code of conduct. It may be display of party flag, use of vehicles, and transportation of unauthorized goods or distribution of money. It will promptly apprise the EC if it encounters any issue in course of monitoring.

The EC has since the enforcement of the code of conduct sought around 100 clarifications from top leaders of various parties, chief ministers, candidates, government officials, journalists’ organizations and the media.

Among those, attention has been drawn on some while reprimand given against others. According to him, monitoring and investigation continues.

The Election Commission has formed the Central Monitoring Committee under the convenorship of Commissioner Ram Prasad Bhandari who looks after the monitoring affairs at the EC.

Talking to RSS, Commissioner Bhandari said that so far the EC has received complaints regarding the election candidates making hate speech, the media and journalists violating the code of conduct, use of children for election campaign, monetary enticement to the voters and some government employees taking side of some party, among others.

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