EC bars PM from electioneering

Published On: March 6, 2017 12:05 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 5: Tightening the screws against those involved in breaching the election code of conduct, the Election Commission (EC) has directed Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal not to be involved in any activities related to the election campaign.

A meeting of the EC commissioners held on Sunday also directed the prime minister against using private helicopters in his party's political functions without prior consent from the EC. The EC also directed prime minister and all ministers not to be involved in any activities related to the poll campaign.

The EC code of conduct came into effect last Wednesday. The directive of the EC comes in the wake of Prime Minister Dahal attending the party functions even after the code of conduct came into effect. The prime minister had travelled to Kamidanda, Kavre to attend the party function on Friday, using a helicopter.

According to a press statement issued by the EC, the meeting decided to ask the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers to make necessary arrangements to implement the directives. The EC has also made it mandatory for ministers to receive its nod before using vehicles to attend both government and their parties' functions. They will need to receive EC nod for using government vehicles in government functions and private vehicles in their respective party functions, and they can visit only up to the district headquarters, according to the EC.

Separately, the EC has directed the Parliament Secretariat not to allow members of parliament to use government vehicles in the election campaign of any political parties or candidates. The EC has also directed universities, school management committees and professional organizations with government ownership not to hold any kinds of elections unless they were already scheduled.

Although the EC has allowed the Public Service Commission (PSC) to continue with its scheduled programs to recruit civil servants, it has categorically directed the government not to make any political appointments. The EC directive bars making appointments through interview alone.

FSU poll uncertain with EC's directives

The EC's directive has made the ongoing FSU elections of the Tribhuvan University uncertain. While the FSU elections have been concluded in a few colleges, they have yet to be held in majority of colleges.

TU rector Sudha Tripathi, who is the coordinator of FSU election committee, said the FSU polls that are yet to be held in various colleges will now be postponed“ "The TU held FSU polls on its own across the country last Wednesday. The responsibility of holding the polls in the remaining colleges now lies with the concerned college managemen”," Tripathi told Republica.

"With the EC's directives, it is upto the concerned college management to decide when to hold the FSU pol's."

There are a total of 1084 constituent colleges and 60 affiliated ones across the country under the TU. The FSU election have been concluded at only around 250 colleges due to disputes among various student unions.

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