KATHMANDU, May 10: Nearly half of the voters have been deprived of their right to vote in the upcoming local level election on May 13. According to estimates, more than 20 percent of the total population (29,192,480) or about 6 million voters are abroad. That's more than half the total votes to be cast.
Similarly, a total of 560,000 voters, including 260,000 security personnel and 300,000 staff, will be deprived of their right to vote. It is certain that about half of the voters will be absent in the local level election which is depriving about 6.5 million voters of their right to vote.
Constituent Assembly member and senior advocate Khim Lal Devkota said that the government has not been able to provide voting rights to all citizens despite the Supreme Court’s order. He said depriving about 6.5 million voters of their right to vote in local elections was not good for democracy.
He said that out of 204 countries, 137 countries have the arrangement to vote from outside the country, adding that the government should not deprive them of human rights. Constituent Assembly member Devkota said that the right to vote could be arranged for the voters in the country and abroad through online voting, early voting and postal voting.
He said that it was unfortunate that about 6.5 million voters were disenfranchised when the government did not amend the law even after the Supreme Court issued an order four or five years ago to make necessary arrangements in this regard.
He stressed the need for conducting a serious study on the issue and amend the law immediately.
Constituent Assembly member Devkota said that the government should ensure the people’s right to vote even for those working to make the election happen. He said that arrangements could be made to seal the votes cast by the voters from any polling station and deliver them to the polling station.