KATHMANDU, July 10: The Election Commission (EC) has scrapped the government´s decision to demote the acting general manager of state-run Nepal Television (NTV).
The constitutional body on Monday sent a letter to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) to this effect.
A cabinet meeting on June 19 had demoted Acting General Manager of NTV Deepakmani Dhital for the live broadcast of a mass rally organized by opposition parties on June 8 and the coverage of opposition parties´ protests against the government decision to promulgate laws through ordinance.
"Today (Monday) we sent a letter to the Ministry of Information and Communications regarding the EC´s decision to scrap the government´s decision to demote the acting general manager of NTV as the move was against the election code of conduct," said EC Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav, who also heads the EC´s code of conduct monitoring committee. The constitutional body had enforced the election code of conduct on June 7.
Yadav said they also found the clarification submitted by the ministry to EC by unsatisfactory. The ministry, in its clarification, had argued that the decision to demote Dhital was taken for the sake of effective broadcasting of the state-run television.
EC had sought clarification from the ministry over the issue two weeks ago.
The main opposition parties -- Nepali Congress and CPN-UML -- and the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) had taken strong exception to the government´s decision to demote Dhital saying the move was made with an intent to curtail freedom of expression.
Meanwhile, the local development officer (LDO) of Bhaktapur district has apologized for the recent transfers of 26 village development committee (VDC) secretaries against the election code of conduct.
"The LDO of Bhaktapur district, in his letter, has informed the commission about his decision to scrap the transfers of the VDC secretaries and apologized for breaching the election code of conduct," Yadav told Republica.
According to EC officials, the constitutional body was earlier mullling possible action against the LDO for his delayed response to the clarification sought by the commission.