Security Council recommends Army deployment for May polls

- Post Report, Kathmandu
The decision should be endorsed by Parliament within a month of the deployment

Mar 28, 2017-A meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) has recommended deployment of the Nepal Army for the upcoming local elections.

The meeting chaired by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on March 22 

had sought a Cabinet decision to deploy the NA personnel who will work to safeguard ballot paper printing, ballot boxes and assist Nepal Police in maintaining the law and order, Shreedhar Sapkota, secretary at the Defence Ministry, said on Monday. 

It is learnt the recommendation will be presented before the Cabinet after PM Dahal returns from his China visit.

The constitution requires the NSC to recommend to the government “for the mobilisation and control of the Nepal Army.” A Cabinet decision on the deployment of the Army needs to be endorsed by the President. The decision should be endorsed by Parliament within a month of the deployment. The seven-member NSC committee also includes ministers for defence, home affairs, foreign affairs, finance, chief secretary and the Army chief.

The Home Ministry had been seeking security support of the Nepal Army and has developed an integrated security plan, detailing the Army’s role in the third ring or the outer ring around the polling stations. Considering an expectant large voter turnovers in the local elections, the Home Ministry believes the Army mobilisation will be essential. 

The ministry has said 226,000 security personnel from Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, Nepal Army and temporary police will be deployed for the purpose. The ministry’s election security plan suggests deployment of 36,000 NA soldiers during the local polls.

According to the Home Ministry, the Nepal Police will hold the command inside the polling stations, with the Armed Police Force (APF) providing the backup security. The Army will be mobilised on the peripheral areas of the polling stations and the temporary police will arrange the voters in queues. 

As the Home Ministry has assessed the security situations as “sensitive” in the districts of Province 2, Bara, Dhanusha, Mahottari, Parsa, Rautahat, Saptari, Sarlahi and Siraha are likely to witness a thick presence of security personnel.

Published: 28-03-2017 08:40

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