Kathmandu: The Election Commission (EC) has made special provision for closely observing and monitoring the silence period of the by-election to the Member of the House of Representatives. The silence period came into effect from mid-night on Thursday.
The by-election is taking place in Tanahu-1, Bara-1 and Chitwan-2 electoral constituencies on April 23. The EC made this special arrangement for the monitoring in line with the Election Code of Conduct, 2023. The Commission has already urged the political parties, the candidates and voters for effective implementation of the provision.
It has likewise issued directives to the state bodies concerned to closely monitor so as to oversee and check the activities in contravention of the Election Code of Conduct. The Election Commission has urged one and all concerned not to cause or make cause any unauthorized movement or untoward activities by people from outside districts and regions in the electoral constituencies where the by-election is being held, except the political parties, candidates, their representatives and voters of these constituencies.
The teams deputed for monitoring and the security bodies concerned can take under control people involved in such unwanted movement and untoward activities, and initiate action in case such activities are seen to be inimical to the election fairness and dignity.
Commission’s assistant spokesperson Surya Prasad Aryal said the EC has directed Nepal Police’s all the related units, the related units under the National Investigation Department, the special monitoring teams mobilized by the Election Commission, the office-bearers of the District Code of Conduct Monitoring Committee officials and the monitoring officers and all the sides concerned to do accordingly.
The constitutional body responsible for conducting elections has also made a decision to have close monitoring carried out through a special mechanism of the implementation of the provision under Clause 24 (5) of the Election (Offences and Punishment) Act, 2073 BS as well as to enforce the Election Code of Conduct in the electoral constituencies where the by-election is taking place.
The EC has mobilized Special Monitoring Team and designated the chief of the District Treasury and Comptroller Office of the districts concerned as the Election Code Monitoring Officer for this purpose in line with Clause 32 of the Election Code of Conduct.
The Commission has also written through the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Home Affairs for making provision to check the sale and distribution, and consumption of alcohol within the districts where the election is taking place until the counting of votes is completed.
The Election Code of Conduct, 2079, issued by the Election Commission on April 7 for the by-election has made provision for silence period from 48 hours before the voting day until the voting is closed in order to hold election in a free, fair and fear-free manner. Assistant Spokesperson Aryal said the silence period would come into effect from midnight today till the polls are closed on April 23.
Election campaigning and any type of discussion, interaction, assemblies, workshop and gatherings are prohibited during the silence period. The EC has drawn attention of all not to ask for votes through online, social site, print or any medium in favour or against any candidate or party.
The EC urged the concerned sides not to publish and broadcast any press release or any content related to prediction about victory or defeat of a candidate through media, including social sites.