KATHMANDU, Dec 5: The silent period for the second phase parliamentary and provincial assembly elections begin from midnight Monday, barring political parties and poll candidates from electioneering any further.
As part of the normalization of the heated electioneering atmosphere to let voters decide their choice of candidates, the Election Commission (EC) is enforcing a silent period before the voting begins.
Under the election code, political parties, candidates and other stakeholders must shun the use of election symbols and publicity materials should not be put up within a radius of 300 meters from polling centers once the silent period starts. Similarly, everyone must comply with the election code during the silent period and not use materials such as clothing, caps, stickers, logos, bags, towels and tattoos which carry election symbols.
Similarly, the use of social networking sites and electronic media for wooing voters is strictly forbidden. The EC has warned of action against those who violate the code. If any candidate or party acts in breach of the silent period, the EC can impose a fine of Rs 100,000 in cash along with cancellation of the candidacy of the candidate concerned.
"The silent period is commencing from tonight. From then onwards, parties and candidates should stop campaigning and let the voters decide independently," said EC Spokesperson Navaraj Dhakal.
In their last-minute efforts to woo voters, top leaders of the major parties remained busy on Monday. Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba went to his home constituency in Dadeldhura and met with voters throughout the day.
CPN (Maoist Center) Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal spent his final day of campaigning in Chitwan. CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli spent the day with voters in the capital and attended a rally organized by his party in Kathmandu constituency -5.
After having conducted the first round of elections, the EC is conducting the final round polls in 45 districts on Thursday. Out of the total of 165 members of parliament and 330 members of the provincial assemblies being elected under the First-Past-The-Post system, these polls will elect 128 member of parliament and 256 provincial assembly members.