EC says it is serious about candidates’ security
- Elections 2017
Nov 18, 2017-
The Election Commission has said it seriously takes the growing number of attacks on candidates and election rallies with the first phase of federal parliamentary and provincial elections less than 10 days away. Polls will be held in 32 districts on November 26 in the first round.
Candidates and election rallies of both the left alliance and the Nepali Congress are being targeted by unidentified forces. Explosive materials have been found in several parts of the country. On Friday, an unidentified man hurled explosive devices at the vehicles of former House speaker Onasari Gharti in Rolpa. Maoist candidates Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Barsha Man Pun, who came under attacks during their campaigns recently, confronted fresh incidents on Friday.
A landmine explosion injured four members of the campaign team led by Nepali Congress candidate Ram Sharan Mahat at Daandagaun Sigarechaur in Kakani Rural Municipality-5 on Friday. These incidents have created an atmosphere of terror for the candidates who are busy electioneering. In several places, security agencies are defusing explosive devices. On Friday police disposed of two pressure cooker bombs in Melamchi Municipality of Sindhupalchok.
“This has made us serious. We have instructed security forces again to pay special attention to ensuring security,” said EC Spokesperson Nabaraj Dhakal. He said the poll authority was in regular consultation with Home Ministry officials and other security agencies on the matter.
Dhakal said security forces should preempt possible security threats, which “they are doing”. Following the poll security plan, the Nepal Army has already established security camps in the districts. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba also looks after the Home portfolio.
Security agencies have perceived two threats: the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal and possible clashes between the left alliance and the Congress. Top leaders of both the forces are fanning across the country for poll campaigns.
In a statement on Friday, the EC expressed its “sadness” over the attacks targeting election candidates and their supporters. The election body said it was “stunned” by the ongoing attempts to deprive candidates and voters of their fundamental rights.
Stating that the election body is confident about the security plan of the government, the EC has urged the latter to adopt additional measures for the security of candidates and their supporters. The EC has also called on the parties, voters and other stakeholders to participate in their election-related activities without being discouraged by the incidents.
Published: 18-11-2017 10:42