Freedom Forum has been concerned over the spate of threats and attacks on election candidates and on political rallies and programs in different parts of the country as the campaigning was going on for the local level election slated for May 14 (first round) and June 14 (second round).
Nepal is holding the local level election in 20 years gap. It is indeed a great democratic exercise to percolate democratic values in the local level, empower grassroots people, and stabilize the national politics.
The campaigning for and against any party and candidate are therefore the expression of people's interests and concern on the political agenda. Here, citizen's freedom of expression is equally important to their rights to vote to sustain democracy, and equal is the rights of any candidate to speak on the agenda before the voters.
Freedom Forum has been monitoring the attacks and threats on people and candidates in the rallies and programs.
Freedom Forum believes that the intimidation on the peaceful gathering by any side- be it an unknown gang or the rebel party groups- obstruct the freedom of expression.
Therefore, FF strongly condemns the threats and attacks on citizens and election candidates, which have violated their right to freedom of expression and of peaceful campaigning and assembly. The security agencies and administrations are urged to maintain security so that the election atmosphere fear-free. Equally, the political parties while exercising their rights should respect other's rights too.
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