ALSO READElection campaigning ends for Nepal's local body polls Preparations for second phase of local election completed: Nepal's Election Commission Five injured in blast at election office in Nepal Nepal's Election Commission starts preparation for three tier election Nepal votes in first local election in 20 years
Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deua has violated the poll code by expanding his cabinet few days before the third phase of the local polls but the Election Commission has no authority to take action against him, the country's top election official said today. Chief Election Commissioner Awadhi Kumar Yadav said the commission's attention has been drawn towards the recent cabinet expansion, but it has no authority to take action against the prime minister. "We can only suggest him," he said, speaking at a function here. He, however, said the election body would take action against those who tried to lure voters by organising feasts during the third phase of local level elections slated for September 18. He warned that the nominations would be scrapped if any candidate was found involved in organising feast during electioneering. There were reports that various political parties were organising feast in the southern Nepal districts for luring voters. "We have heard that the candidates have been spending a huge amount of money on the elections, but we have not found any proof yet. If we receive photos as a proof, we will take action against them on the spot," he said. Prime Minister Deuba on Monday expanded his Cabinet for the fifth time since June, inducting four more ministers to take its strength to a record 54, and evoking criticism from the poll panel. Deuba inducted three ministers and a minister of state from the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (Democratic).
With the new inductees, his Cabinet became the largest in Nepal's history. The Election Commission had expressed its dissatisfaction over the Cabinet expansion. The EC had said in a statement the expansion was against the code of conduct of Provincial Assembly and House of Representatives. The 71-year-old leader in June became the prime minister for the fourth time, succeeding Maoist leader Prachanda, who resigned from the position as part of a power-sharing deal.
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