Reps of candidates may stay at ballot boxes storage locations

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 29, 2017-

The Election Commission (EC) has hinted at allowing representatives of candidates to stay at locations where sealed ballot boxes containing votes cast in the first phase of the federal and provincial elections would be kept. 

The EC, which has decided to start counting votes of first and second phases of federal and provincial elections together after December 7, will keep the ballot boxes of the first phase of elections will be kept under security of army at locations designed by election officers in the district headquarters. 

The first phase of the elections will be held in 32 districts, mostly in mountain and hill districts, on November 26.

“If candidates of the political parties are not convinced with the security arrengements, their representatives will be allowed to stay there,” said Election Commissioner Sudhir Shah. 

Although the votes were counted right after the conclusion of each phase of the local elections, the EC has decided to count votes of federal and provincial elections together as agreed with the political parties. The parties were concerned over potential influence of the first phase of elections into the next, prompting the EC to make a decision to count votes together after the conclusion of both phases of the elections.

Earlier, the EC had asked the government to provide special security arrangements for the ballot boxes in the first phase of elections, considering the sensitivity of ballot boxes with cast votes. The EC has also asked the government to ensure speedy maintenance of telephone, fax, wireless and other communications equipment used by the Nepali Police, the Armed Police Force and the National Investigation Department. 

The poll body has directed the Home Ministry to provide adequate security for the transportation of election materials and in the places where it will be stored, mainly in the rural areas. It has also suggested the ministry to collect weapons issued to the general public, considering the security situation.

Published: 29-10-2017 07:29

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