The Election Commission has retracted the letter it wrote to Setopati instructing to remove a news report published on Friday within 24 hours, and seeking explanation about the news report.
Issuing a statement Sunday evening, the Election Commission has retracted the letter stating that the letter was sent to Setopati due to technical reasons in a way that it was not in accordance to the Election Commission's policy and norms about the mass media.
Setopati had published a news titled ‘Agni Kharel’s son Nishan in US Army, also continues to hold Nepali citizenship’ on Friday. The Election Commission on Saturday asked for removal of the news report within 24 hours and sought explanation stating ‘There was character assassination of an individual who is candidate in the election and his family, and the news report has been published in a way that there is personal allegation’.
Setopati took a stand against the Election Commission's letter and published an editorial on the matter earlier on Sunday stressing that it would not remove the new report as instructed and would instead move the court if necessary.
"We firmly believe that the Election Commission has instructed for removal of the news violating the limits and decorum of a constitutional commission on an issue it is not concerned with," the editorial stressed.
Setopati in its editorial expressed four major disagreements over the instruction by the Election Commission to remove the news and explanation it sought. The editorial asked 'How does this news report slander Agni Kharel who is candidate in the election, and his family?', and pointed that the Election Commission instead publicly slandered Setopati by making such false allegations.
"We challenge the Election Commission to prove this allegation, and request it to withdraw the same if it can’t," the editorial added.