The offices of the Chief Election Officers will start counting of the votes from Thursday evening in tight security arrangement, keeping in view incidents of violence or scuffles that could occur during vote counting in various districts.
The vote counting centres will be equipped with close-circuit television cameras and the wired fences will be put up around the centres to secure the ballot papers. The first phase of elections to the House of Representatives and Provincial Assemblies was held in 32 districts on November 26. Following the elections, the ballot boxes have been kept in the constituency-based government offices or the district headquarters under the tight security.
“We have planned to complete the vote counting by Saturday evening,” said Dipak Khanal, chief election officer of Sindhupalchok district, informing the media that the vote counting will start in the district from Thursday evening. A total of 226, 540 people had cast their vote in Sindhupalchok.
Representatives of political parties will be kept at bay, allowing them only to watch from outside the wired fences, according to EC officials.
Yognath Dhakal, election officer of Dhading-1, said the vote counting will start in the district from 5pm on Thursday. “Candidates and party representatives cannot touch the ballot papers as fences made of wires, used for building embankments and bridges, have been installed around the vote counting centres,” said Dhakal. People have started heading towards the district headquarters as the news that authorities were planning to start the vote counting from Thursday circulated in the district.
Dolakha Chief Election Officer Prakash Kumar Kafle said they had made arrangements for the vote counting inside the District Court building. “We will only let journalists and poll observers to watch and click photographs of the vote counting,” said Kafle.
In Okhaldhunga, the office of the Chief Election Officer has reached an agreement with various political parties to count the votes at three places in the district. The counting of votes of federal parliament will start from Likhu Rural Municipality.
Security arrangements have also been tight for the vote counting in Jumla district. “Only one candidate or representative can enter the vote counting centre,” said Jumla Chief District Officer Bishnu Paudel, adding that they would not allow vote counters and candidates to carry any communication devices. “Candidates and representatives can only watch the vote counting from outside the wired fences,” he said. (With inputs from our district correspondents)Published: 2017-12-07 07:33:11