The Election Commission has said campaigning and soliciting votes for the National Assembly election to be held on Thursday cannot be done.
Issuing a statement after CPN-UML Chairman and Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli solicited votes for Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa on Wednesday, it has said that election silence has started since Monday midnight and campaigning and soliciting of votes cannot be done during the period.
The statement issued by Joint Secretary at the Election Commission does not take name of PM Oli but cites that it has been issued as the Election Commission's attention has been drawn to the fact that a few individuals have issued statements against the code of conduct.
"The Election Commission's attention has been drawn due to activities including issuing press statement, publishing and broadcasting that, and a few media outlets disseminating materials about prediction of win/loss of candidates and taking interviews. The Election Commission can take action if the code of conduct is violated," the Election Commission says.
Issuing a statement on Wednesday a day ahead of the election, Oli asked for votes for Thapa calling him a senior leader of communist movement. "His victory will also boost emotional unification of the communist movement. I, therefore, urge to make our party's candidate victorious in the election through unity."
Thapa's win does not look easy though despite UML Secretary General Ishwar Pokharel already issuing whip on elected representatives from the party who are voters in the election. Thapa met UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal at the latter's residence in Koteshwore Tuesday and asked for his support in the National Assembly election
But Nepal responded that he cannot give his words on supporting Thapa. A leader of the Kahanal-Nepal faction confided with Setopati that the faction cannot support Thapa. "Thapa asked for votes from our faction. But Nepal has not given assurances," the leader stated. "There is no use giving words that we will vote because he is not our candidate."
Thapa is contesting for National Assembly seat from Bagmati province vacant after his expulsion by CPN (Maoist Center) on joining UML.
Leftist leader Khim Lal Devkota, who is close to Nepal, is the joint candidate of major opposition parties contesting as an independent candidate.
UML decided to field Thapa, who had insisted to not contest if victory were not guaranteed, as candidate just hours before the deadline to file nominations for the election expired.
The Khanal-Nepal faction was at war with CPN-UML Chairman and Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli at the time of filing nominations but Devkota has yet to withdraw candidacy despite the two sides starting dialogue to resolve the internal dispute in recent days.