ILAM, Nov 27: Ballot boxes from several polling booths of Panchthar and Taplejung districts have already been brought to the center. However, it might take one more day for the security forces to bring the boxes from remote zones. According to the district election officials, ballot boxes from the areas where there are no motorable roads would arrive only on Monday afternoon.
“We will bring the ballot boxes from the remote areas in helicopter. Even then, it might take one more day. By Monday afternoon, we will bring the boxes,” said Dhruba Rai, district election officer of Panchthar. He added that the ballot boxes from nearby areas have already been collected and brought to the center safely. “There are around four such areas which are quite remote,” he said.
Counting of the ballots will begin only after the second phase of the provincial and parliamentary elections slated for 7 December. Election officials stated that the ballot boxes brought from various parts of the two districts have been kept safely at the respective headquarters.
“The safety of the ballot boxes is less challenging once they are brought to the headquarters. Even then, there are still some challenges,” said Rai. “But we have arranged for the safety,” he added.
The ballot boxes of Panchthar have been kept in a hall of the District Development Committee, which is just 20 meters away from the District Police Office. According to Rai, both Nepal Police and Armed Police Force would be giving security to the hall. Besides, there could be army at the outer circle, he said.
“Army will be there as per the need. We have arranged proper light and space at the hall where the ballot boxes have been kept. Representatives of political parties can inspect it, if they want to,” he said.
As per the data of the EC, there are 125,219 voters in Panchthar. Among them, around 65 percent must have cast vote, Rai assumed. “It might take around six days to count the votes. The election was held at 165 centers of the district on Sunday.
Meanwhile, ballot boxes from four election centers of Taplejung would be airlifted on Monday, stated the district administration chief Mohanlal GC. Ballot boxes from Ghunsa, Yangma, Gyabla and Gola would be airlifted, he informed. “Ballot boxes from other polling centers have been arriving. But helicopters are needed in remote areas where there are no motorable roads,” GC said.
GC stated that election in Taplejung was held in a peaceful atmosphere. A total of 78,397 voters were registered in Taplejung.