Prime minister urges EC to cut invalid votes

- Post Report, Kathmandu
To curb invalid votes, election commissioners propose using electronic voting machines in the provincial and federal parliaments

Jul 28, 2017-Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has asked the Election Commission to minimise the percentage of invalid votes by reforming the electoral process.

In a meeting with EC office bearers at his office on Thursday, the PM said that no vote should go waste. During the first and second rounds of local elections, the national average of invalid votes was over 10 percent.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Home Minister Janardan Sharma and Finance Minister Gyanendra Bahadur Karki also attended the meeting.

Reminding the EC of the January 21 constitutional deadline for holding the elections for provincial and federal parliaments, the PM urged the poll authority to start preparations for completing its tasks on time.

After Deuba expressed his concern over invalid votes, EC officials proposed the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the provincial and federal parliaments. The PM is learnt to have responded that a decision on EVM use would be taken after consulting with the political parties.

On the government’s request to hold both the elections on a single day, EC officials said the plan would be difficult to implement without using EVMs. The PM said holding the polls on a single day would also cut costs.

EC officials presented the possibility of having a single ballot paper for two elections, according to Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav.

EC officials who recently visited India to learn about EVMs have concluded that it will take at least five months to adopt EVMs and to educate people on their use. For procurement, the EC has to announce a global tender.

Published: 28-07-2017 07:49

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