Nepal has been observing a silence period since midnight on Thursday, the 48 hours before the voting day on Sunday.
Nepal’s election management body’s silence period is an important component of the electoral laws to ensure that political parties do not violate the set conduct.
The Election Commission has said the violation of the Silence Period that has been enforced since midnight in view of the elections for the House of Representatives and Province Assembly is punishable by laws.
The ‘Silence Period’ is a provision of a ban imposed by the Election Commission Nepal that prevents political parties and their supporters from engaging in election campaigning and other activities to influence the voters.
The EC has directed the entire returning and monitoring officers to promptly respond to any cases of the violation of the Silence Period in accordance with the Election (Offense and Punishment) Act (2017) and inform it to the EC.
The clause 24 (5) of the Act bans any election publicity campaigns before 48 hours of the voting day, and the EC and returning and monitoring officers have the authority to impose a fine up to Rs 25,000 in case of the breaching of the Provision, according to EC Spokesperson Shaligram Sharma Poudel.
The EC has written to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Nepal Press Council, reminding them of the Provision to be followed 48 hours before the voting day until the completion of voting procedures. The Ministry and Council have been asked not to disseminate or broadcast any content relating to the activities of political parties or the candidates or the election publicity campaign.
The EC has urged all people not to, and cause not to, carry out any activities related to election publicity such as gatherings, interactions, assemblies, workshops, and seminars until the vote count is complete.
Similarly, they have been asked not to, and cause not to, upload, comment, tag, like, and counter-comment on anything election related on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Any political campaigns and publicity through social sites, and news websites have also been prohibited. The Advertisement Board has been asked to do the monitoring.
Wearing the clothing, logos, badges, T-shirts, jackets, shawls, caps, vests, facemasks, bags and stickers that symbolically identify candidates and any political parties around polling centers has been banned. Security personnel deployed for the polls have been directed to take action against such activities.