Election Commission should have enforced the election code of conduct immediately after poll date announcement.
-- Neel Kantha Uprety, former chief election commissioner
KATHMANDU, Feb 22: With the Election Commission (EC) yet to enforce the election code of conduct, the government is busy transferring top police officials.
The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday transferred 20 deputy inspectors general (DIG) of Nepal Police. DIG Prakash Aryal, who was reportedly a contender for the post of inspector general, has been transferred to the Crime Investigation Bureau (CIB) as acting chief. Another DIG Bam Bahadur Bhandari has been assigned as the acting chief of the Metropolitan Police Range, Office.
Pashupati Upadhyaya has been transferred to the Operations Department of Nepal Police headquarters. Devendra Subedi has been transferred to National Police Training Academy as the acting chief, Madhav Prasad Joshi to the Procurement Department at the headquarters, Kamal Singh Bam to the Police Division at the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA).
Mingmar Lama has been transferred to the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) as acting chief, Pankaj Shrestha as the chief of the Airport Police, Hemanta Pal as the Special Bureau chief, Govinda Prasad Niraula as the chief of Research and Planning Directorate, Bijaya Kumar Bhatta to the Women and Children Service Directorate, Kedarman Singh Bhandari to the Crime Investigation School and Sudip Acharya to the National Security Council.
Similarly, newly-promoted DIG Ramesh Kumar Shrestha has been deputed as the chief of the Eastern Bureau, Madhu Prasad Pudasaini as chief of the Western Bureau, Bijay Lal Kayastha as the chief of the Midwestern Bureau and Romendra Singh Deuba has been appointed as the chief of the Western Bureau of Nepal Police.
Although the government on Monday announced to hold local elections on May 14, the EC has yet to enforce the election code of conduct. Traditionally, the EC would enforce the election code of conduct immediately after the announcement of the election. This time, the EC has not yet enforced the code, saying that it needs a few days to make revisions to "the integrated election code of conduct", which it had prepared some time ago, to suit the changed context.
The EC had already prepared an integrated election code of conduct targeting the government, political parties, I/NGOs and the media. A Code of Conduct Implementation Committee headed by Commissioner Sudheer Shah is revising the document.
The code of conduct comes into effect for the government immediately after the poll date is announced. It, however, applies to political parties, I/NGOs, media and other stakeholders after the parties file their nominations at the election offices.
The code of conduct bars the government from making any political appointments and promotions and transferring civil servants after the code comes into effect. The government, however, can take decisions including appointments in some exceptional cases, but with the consent of the EC.
"Election Commission should have enforced the election code of conduct immediately after poll date announcement," said former chief election commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety.