EC seeks local election security plan
Mar 13, 2017- The Election Commission has instructed the Home Ministry and security agencies to submit a detailed security plan considering seven potential threats to the local level elections scheduled for May 14.
During a meeting with senior officials from all the security agencies on March 6, the election authority had asked for the plan to provide security to around 21,000 polling stations, ballot papers and boxes, district election offices and election officers’ offices in all the 744 local units.
Commissioner Sudhir Shah, who oversees security affairs at the EC, said the government was instructed to prepare security plans considering factors including the potential confrontation that the CPN-UML’s Mechi-Mahakali Campaign could create, infiltration of criminal elements from the porous border with India, activities of ethnic fronts in the eastern region and activities of the supporters of CK Raut, who has been carrying out secessionist activities.
“I have also asked them to consider the activities of the Communist Party of Nepal led by Netra Bikram Chand because it has former Maoist combatants,” said Shah. The activities of the party led by Mohan Baidya that boycotted the second CA elections were also worth watching.
The same day the EC and the security agencies discussed security plans, clashes erupted between the police and cadres of the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, which resulted in the death of five persons in Saptari.
“We are concerned about the campaign of the UML that could lead to a confrontation at a time when the Madhes-based parties have been hostile to its election campaign,” said Shah, adding that political parties, however, need to hold their poll campaigns to make the election successful.
The EC is concerned particularly about Province 2 where the protesting regional parties, which have threatened to boycott and disrupt the polls, have strong presence. The EC has already asked the parties to work towards creating an environment conductive to holding the elections.
The Home Ministry said it is working on a detailed security plan. “We are in the final phase of preparing the plan, which will address major security concerns about the elections,” said Bal Krishna Panthi, spokesperson for the ministry.
The government has decided to deploy 226,000 security personnel, including temporary police recruits, for the local elections.
Published: 13-03-2017 08:09