KATHMANDU, June 19: In yet another instance of disrespect of the election code of conduct enforced by the Election Commission, the government on Monday transferred 24 senior police officers and demoted the general manager of the state-run Nepal Television (NTV).
A cabinet meeting held at the prime minister´s residence at Baluwatar prior to his departure to Brazil, transferred five Additional Inspector Generals (AIGs) and 19 Deputy Inspector Generals (DIGs) of Nepal Police.
Similarly, the cabinet meeting demoted acting general manager of the state-owned television Dipak Mani Dhital to the post of deputy general manager.
"This [government decision] has breached the election code of conduct," said Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav, who is also the head of the code of conduct monitoring committee of the commission, adding, "Though security arrangements are essential for the elections, the EC has become serious as the decision [to transfer top police officers] came hastily."
The constitutional body had enforced a 12-point code of conduct in view of the Constituent Assembly election scheduled for November 22. Clause 8 of the code of conduct says, officials from governmental and semi-governmental organizations and local bodies, security personnel and teachers from community schools must not be transferred, promoted and transferred on deputation apart from for elections related duties.
Talking to Republica EC Spokesperson Sharada Prasad Trital said the government did not consult the commission before taking the decision.
However, he said the EC had given consent to the ministry of home affairs for filling vacant posts of superintendent of police, deputy superintendent of police and inspectors through promotions as per regular procedures.
"But, the EC had not consented the government for new appointments and transfers," Trital added.
Trital said the constitutional body would take ´appropriate´ step in regard to the government decision on Tuesday.
When asked about possible action against the violation of the election code of conduct, Trital said, "EC can put the government decisions on hold or scrap them."
However, this is the not first time the government has breached the election code of conduct. Earlier, the government made promotions in the Nepal Army, Armed Police Force and transferred civil servants.
The Election Commission had reminded the government of the code of conduct and expressed its objections to the promotions and transfers.