EC operates press office to disseminate poll related information

Published On: October 1, 2022 11:35 AM NPT By: Smriti Dhungana  | @aesmriti

KATHMANDU, Oct 1: The Election Commission (EC) has launched an office to monitor the social networks sites with representatives of the Cyber ​​Bureau of the Nepali Army and Police for the House of Representatives and Provincial Assemblies elections to be held on November 20.

Inaugurating the press office at the EC Headquarters on Friday, Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapliya said that representatives of the security agencies will also work together with others to contain the spread of fake information through social media platforms during election.

"This time, the EC believes that the issue related to cyber law can be better dealt with  by security personnel. They have no role in other works," he said.  “Press Council Nepal will monitor whether the media has followed the election code of conduct. The EC only monitors what materials have been published or broadcast in mass media and whether they will help the election.”

Stating that the local level elections were successful with the strong support of the media sector,Thapaliya said that digital and social media will be monitored. "In order to control the disinformation, misleading information and malicious expressions that can be spread through social media and reduce the challenges of cyber security during the election, representatives of the army and police have been placed as contact persons in the press office of the EC,” he said. “This will make the work done by the relevant agencies of the Nepal government effective during the election." 

The EC has maintained that election related information will flow through the one-door system and effectively reach the target group. “A total of 27 employees will be actively working in the press office launched by the EC for the upcoming elections," said EC Spokesperson Shaligram Sharma Paudel.  

The EC approved the concept paper on press office operations last month. However, there are criticisms from various quarters that the plan of EC to involve police and army personnel to monitor media and social media is against the practices and norms of democracy.

The EC said it launched a press office in order to organize the monitoring and ensure effective flow of information through social media and mainstream media and improve relations with the media during the elections.

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