EC instructs returning officers to expedite vote counting

Published On: May 16, 2017 12:06 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 16: Concerned with the tediously slow vote counting the Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday instructed returning officers of all 281 local units to expedite vote counting by involving maximum human resources available in the districts and representatives of political parties.

“We have asked them [returning officers] to speed up vote counting after our oral instructions could not make substantive progress in accelerate vote counting,” said Commissioner Narendra Dahal.  

A Board meeting of the election body has instructed the chief returning officers and returning officers of the local units to adopt all possible measures to complete voting in time. “Now onwards, they can mobilize available civil servants in the districts and parties also should name their representatives when vote count will begin in multiple places,” said Dahal.

Large size ballot papers, repeated disputes among the parties over the valid votes and multiple symbols have slowed the vote counting. Protests have erupted in some places over delay in vote count. Poll observers say it could take months to complete vote counting if the returning officers do not take timely measures for concluding the counting in time.  

Considering the possible delay in vote counting election experts have suggested to begin vote counting on the spot once the voting is over. The suggestions, however, were not implemented.

 Going against the suggestions the EC has formulated the election guidelines inline to begin vote counting only after collecting ballot boxes from polling centers. The EC was struggling to collect ballot boxes until Tuesday morning.  Helicopters and poll workers were mobilized in mountainous districts while four-wheelers were used to collect ballot boxes. 

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