EC issues guidelines for social media use during by-election

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By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, Apr. 18:The Election Commission (EC) Nepal has issued stern guidelines to all stakeholders about adhering to the Election Code of Conduct for the upcoming April 27 by-elections of the House of Representatives (HoR) in Ilam-2 and the Provincial Assembly in Bajhang 1(1).

The EC emphasised that any violation of the Election Code of Conduct, which is currently in force from April 10, will be met with legal repercussions.

It cautioned against the misuse of social media platforms or any other activities that contravene the EC Code of Conduct. 

Stressing the need for a free, fair, and impartial electoral environment, the EC stated that the Code of Conduct will remain effective until the completion of the electoral process.

Joint Secretary and Spokesperson for the EC Shaligram Sharma Paudel highlighted specific prohibitions, including disseminating misleading or fake information, propaganda, and derogatory remarks on social media platforms.

Additionally, distorting or tagging information to influence the election outcome is strictly prohibited.

To ensure compliance, a district code of conduct monitoring committee, chaired by the district’s Chief Election Officer, has been established.

Furthermore, the EC is setting up a dedicated social media monitoring unit to swiftly address any violations and recommend appropriate actions.

In a bid to promote responsible media coverage, the EC will communicate with the Press Council Nepal to encourage the dissemination of reliable, safe, and impartial content.

This includes discouraging negative or misleading content related to the election and taking prompt action against such materials.

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