536 votes cast for no candidates
DHADING, May 15: After the first phase of elections in Dhading, people everywhere in the district are talking about the vote counting and election victories.
The excited votes and observers are keenly getting updates of the ongoing vote counting for various positions in the district's local units. The excitement on the faces of voters can be clearly observed as they anxiously wait for the results to know whether the candidate they voted has won.
“When will the vote counting conclude and people will get their elected local representatives?” Chetan Shrestha, a local, shared his curiosity. The elderly seem more excited about the election results than their younger counterparts.
However, as the vote counting is just in the initial phase, it is difficult to predict the clear winner as of now. “The much-awaited elections have concluded in the blink of an eye. We really can't say who might win until the final results are out,” said Rishi Tiwari, a local of Nilkantha Municipality-6.
In Benighat Rorang Rural Municipality-1, Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (Maoist Centre) had withdrawn their nominations for the post of chairman and vice chairman following the formation of an electoral alliance between them. However, defying the electoral alliance, as many as 536 voters have cast their votes for the posts where no candidate was fielded.
Among that, 268 votes were cast for the post of vice chairman for which Maoist Centre had not fielded its candidates. Similarly, NC got 268 votes for the post of chairman for which it had not fielded its candidate, according to the returning officers.
This result could be the outcome of misunderstanding between the voters of the ruling Maoist Centre and its major ruling coalition partner NC. It seemed like their voters were unaware about the electoral alliance forged between the two parties. Or perhaps, they could also be simply defying the electoral alliance and expressing disappointment for not getting the election candidate from the party.
Hari Dallakoti of Maoist Centre fought the elections for the post of chairman while Devi Prasad Silwal of NC contested the elections for the post of vice chairman. NC chairman candidate got 268 votes while vice chairman candidate got 301 votes. Likewise, UML chairman candidate has received 236 while vice chairman candidate got 235 votes as of Monday evening.
Due to the fierce competition, the locals and observers have compared winning the election with gambling. “Just like winning or losing is not certain in gambling, we also cannot predict whether one candidate will win or lose,” said Ganesh Silwal, of Nalang while participating in an election discussion at Puchar Bazaar.
“As this is a local election, locals have voted for candidates rather than parties. In other elections though, people would mostly vote for parties without giving much consideration to the candidates,” said Tiwari of Nilkantha.