Rs 700k highest amount a candidate can spendIn the upcoming local level elections, a candidate will be able to spend between Rs100,000 and Rs700,000 for poll preparations depending on the post one runs for.
In the upcoming local level elections, a candidate will be able to spend between Rs100,000 and Rs700,000 for poll preparations depending on the post one runs for.
The Election Commission has proposed expenditure limits for candidates in the local polls scheduled for May 14.
As the EC plans to issue the Election Code of Conduct with effect from March 1, the poll authority on Sunday proposed the spending limits during an interaction with the registered political parties.
Candidates for the chief or deputy chief of local federal units can spend a maximum of Rs700,000 in the metropolis, Rs500,000 in a sub-metropolis, Rs400,000 in municipal councils and Rs300,000 in village councils. For those running for ward chair or a ward member, the proposed expenditure limit is Rs250,000, Rs200,000, Rs150,000 and Rs100,000 for the respective councils.
Election Commissioner Sudhir Shah said the limits were proposed based on four parameters—inflation, standards maintained for the local elections in 1997 and the 2005 local polls conducted unsuccessfully by the government headed by then king Gyanendra Shah, wider constituencies as a result of the local level restructuring and the increased population.
The Local Level Restructuring Commission (LLRC) has recommended 719 local units. But the government is set to make an upward revision, particularly in Province 2 as demanded by the Madhes-based parties. According to the LLRC report, which is yet to be made public, there will be four metropolitan cities in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Chitwan and Pokhara. Currently, Kathmandu is the country’s sole metropolis.
There will be 12 sub-metropolitan cities including two each in Sunsari and Dang districts. Other eight sub-metropolises will be one each in Morang, Dhanusha, Bara, Makwanpur, Parsa, Rupandehi, Banke and Kailali districts. There will be 241 municipal councils and 462 village councils.
But the representatives of political parties doubted if the EC would be able to enforce the limits, and suggested that the EC employ stringent measures.
As per EC proposal, candidates are expected to spend the highest on vehicles, followed by meetings with cadres, and publicity materials. Besides, expenditure limits have been proposed also for office operations, fuel, transportation of goods, publicity on media, representative mobilisation and miscellaneous headings.
Rukmini Chaudhary, chairperson of the Sanghiya Loktantrik Rastriya Manch, asked the EC not to fix expenditure ceilings if it cannot take action against the candidates breaking them. Leaders from smaller parties complained that the EC had been strict with the code only in cases of candidates of fringe parties while those from bigger forces were often let off the hook.
The EC has also sought to regulate vehicle use by candidates for campaigning. As proposed, mayor and deputy mayor candidates at a metropolis can use two four-wheelers and two motorcycles. The ward chair and ward member hopefuls can use a four-wheeler and one motorcycle.