October 3, 2022, Monday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Follow poll-code of conduct!

Editorial

The Nepal Weekly
April 12, 2022

As May 13 local polls come closer all stakeholders particularly candidates, their public relations officials, political leaders, political parties, media, civil society, the government, officials concerned and others should follow the poll-code of conduct. Doing so is a democratic duty and it helps the process of fair, free voting in the elections. The Election Commission has rightly introduced the dos and don’ts for election for all concerned and the constitutional body has obtained the written commitment to the same from the political parties which are participating in the polls. Those who had some reservations about some provisions of the poll-code of conduct have got a chance to air their views. The EC has listened to them and it will take care of all the publicly voiced observations about the rules to be followed while preparing for the day people cast votes and the measures for counting them are undertaken. Various election-related acts and bahaviours of those who offer candidature and those who approach voters for seeking favour on behalf of the candidate appear carry high importance. They should be so decently observed that the ultimate decision makers – the voters – feel really free from any interference or fear or favour from the side of candidates. Allowing them to exercise their discretion or use their conscience in this regard – picking up the candidate they opt genuinely- is a democratic obligation none should forget. The poll-code of candidate is a gentle reminder for all concerned. The messaging that candidates do or the public programmes they organize in relation to the polls should also honour the code. While all candidates are free to seek support from voters, they should exhibit decency in the context of their observations on the competitors. They should offer logic to counter the observations of competitors besides being civil in tone and style. Allowing the poll-campaign to be politically sound, competitively healthy, visually decent, substantially deep and stylishly acceptable is what the code emphasizes most. If all stakeholders follow it, none would be at a loss and a democratic culture gets a chance to be nurtured. The same would be a very helpful asset for future. It would also enhance public trust in elections and the democratic process of governance it seeks to establish. Keeping in view all these points all should be effortful in following the code. Those who are responsible for monitoring whether the code of conduct is followed or not should also be alert in doing their job with a sense of commitment. The effectiveness of code, they say, rests on implementation. That is why the need of the hour is to follow it and render the local polls campaign 2022 be exemplary.