EC bars political leaders from distributing relief items in Province 2

Published On: August 18, 2017 08:03 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, August 18: At a time when the political leaders of different parties are reaching various flood-affected districts in Province 2 in an apparent bid to woo voters for the upcoming polls, the Election Commission (EC) has barred them from making individual donations of relief items to the flood victims.

The EC has issued the directive in view of the third phase of local level elections slated for September 18 in Province 2. Issuing a press statement on Thursday, the election body said it is cautious not to let relief items distribution to the flood-affected people affect the upcoming polls. 

The election code of conduct has already come into force on Thursday in Province 2, where most districts are inundated by the recent floods triggered by incessant rainfall. The EC has urged the political parties and other organizations distributing relief items to provide them to the district-based Natural Disaster Management Committee headed by the Chief District Officers (CDOs).

The EC has also urged the CDOs to make arrangements for distributing relief materials to flood-affected people in their respective districts with priority. The EC had held a meeting on Thursday to discuss ways to ensure smooth distribution of relief materials, while ensuring that the election code of conduct is not violated. 

The EC directives come in the wake of all major parties mobilizing their leaders to the districts for the distribution of relief materials. While NC President and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba paid a visit to the flood-affected districts a few days ago, CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman visited and even distributed relief materials in various terai districts including Saptari and Dhanusha.

Separately, NC, CPN-UML and Maoist Center have directed their sister organizations and lawmakers from the flood-affected districts to reach the affected districts and distribute relief materials. The election code of conduct bars political parties from distributing any items that may affect the poll results.

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