EC's directive to govt to enforce code of conduct

By A Staff Reporter

Kathmandu sept 1: The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday issued a seven-point directive to the government regarding the implementation of the code of conduct in view of the elections to the Provincial Assemblies and the House of Representatives.
The EC, in a press statement, said that it had asked the government to conduct the two-tier elections in a free, fair, credible and fear-free atmosphere.
On Wednesday, the election body had decided to enforce the election code in view of the provincial and federal elections.
The EC issued the directive in the name of the government following various news reports that the Prime Minister and ministers allegedly violated the code of conduct by using helicopters.
According to newly-appointed EC spokesperson Navaraj Dhakal, the Prime Minister will have to take permission from the EC to use a helicopter.
According to the directive, ministers and other high ranking government officials have been barred from boarding a helicopter to carry out government works. Similarly, they will have to take permission from the election body to use a helicopter for private use, Dhakal stated.
The directive also warned the government not to make any political appointments and prevent government officials from embarking on any foreign visit. If the visits are a must, ministers and officials must take permission from the EC before embarking on a foreign trip.
However, possible trips for attending programmes of the United Nations and other international organisations have been kept beyond the code of conduct.
Spokesperson Dhakal also said that the EC barred ministers from using government vehicles for election campaigns of their respective parties.
In its directive, the EC has also prohibited the government from adding and transferring budget from one head to another, and amending programmes.
The EC, however, said that the government could add and transfer the budget and amend the budgetary programmes related to natural disasters and national pride projects and such others only after taking permission from the EC.
On Wednesday, the government had, revising its earlier election schedule, decided to hold the provincial and federal elections in two phases on November 26 and December 7.

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