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Budget between elections against poll code

Apr 29, 2017-

Facing intense pressure from various political parties including main opposition CPN-UML, Election Commission (EC) on Saturday decided to draw attention of the government that the presentation of the budget between first and second phases of elections would violate poll code of conduct.

Earlier, the election body had made it clear that it would not stand on the road to present the budget between the polling dates of May 14 and June 14 because as the constitution states that the annual budget must be presented on Jeth 15 (May 29).

The EC had however suggested the government to present the budget after the both phases of elections is over.

With the political parties discussing on postponing the budget presentation date by amending the constitution, a meeting of the EC chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav decided to remind that government that the move would violate the code of conduct.

“The presentation of policy and programme and the budget between the two phases of elections is against the polls code of conduct and it can influence the second phase of elections,” the election body said in a press release. “So, EC decided to draw attention of the government regarding it.” The EC said that the code of conduct, which came into effect on March 1, will continue to prevail until the second phase of election on June 14 is over.

UML which has been strongly protesting against the budget presentation between first and second phase of elections, had also inquired about the EC’s position on the matter.

The main opposition made it clear that it was not acceptable for the party as the ruling parties could the influence the election by introducing populist programmes to win votes.

The constitutional provision of presenting the budget on Jeth 15 was made after the past experiences when the budget presentation was delayed for as long as nine months after the fiscal year began because of the political instability.

This happened three years—in fiscal years 2008-09, 2010-11 and 2012-13 under the first constituent affecting the development expenditure heavily which hit the economic performance of the country severely.