KATHMANDU, May 14: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has said that the first phase of the local elections were held largely peacefully across all 34 districts, but there were some untoward incidents.
Issuing a press statement on Sunday evening, the NHRC said its monitoring teams found that there was significant participation of senior citizens, pregnant women, and people with disabilities in the voting process. The national human rights watchdog also said that in many districts, people had arrived at the polling stations after walking on foot for over four hours.
While pointing out the need for significant improvements in voter education, voter identity cards distribution and polling stations management, the NHRC has asked the Election Commission (EC) to make necessary improvements in the second phase of the local polls scheduled for June 14. It has also suggested to the government to punish those involved in poll-related violence, and provide free of cost treatment to those injured and secure release of the candidates abducted on the eve of election.
The EC had deployed six high-level and 42 other teams in all 34 districts to monitor the elections. The NHRC said that a person was killed in Dolakha in police action, another one in Kavre due to fire opened by the Armed Police Force (APF) personnel and a ward-level candidate of CPN (Maoist Center) was abducted in Chitwan. The NHRC said although there were also incidents of minor scuffles and improvised explosive device detonations in other districts as well, the first phase of local polls concluded largely peacefully.
Likewise, the Scope Nepal has also monitored the first phase of the local polls. Issuing a press statement after the completion of the election, the organization stated that the election was over in free and fair manner. Despite few untoward incident in some districts, the organization concluded that the election was completed peacefully.