June 18, 2017 07:41 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, June 17: As part of conducting the second round local elections in three of the seven provinces, the Election Commission (EC) has set the stage for the political parties and independent candidates that wish to contest the polls.
After completing all administrative and technical preparations, the election body is registering the candidacies from political parties and independents on Sunday.
Except for the agitating Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN), all the parties have made preparations to field their candidates in Provinces 1, 5 and 7. The election body has already conducted the local polls in Provinces 3, 4 and 6, while the polls for Province 2 have been deferred till September 18.
Addressing a special press meet organized on the eve of candidacy nominations, Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav said all preparations for the elections have been completed and the election body is eagerly waiting to receive the candidacies of political parties and independents.
The aspiring candidates are urged to go to the election offices and file their candidacies between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The second phase elections are taking place in one metropolitan city, 7 sub-metropolitan cities, 111 municipalities and 215 rural municipalities.
As many as 6,432,765 people are eligible to cast their votes to elect 15,028 representatives in the local units and wards.
With a view to easing the voting process, the EC has arranged 8,364 polling centers in the 35 districts of the three provinces. Altogether 66,900 civil servants are already deployed on the ground for managing the election, and the government will deploy security personnel from the Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, National Investigation Department and Nepal Army in an integrated manner.
“I appeal to the candidates of parties and independent candidates to take part enthusiastically in the candidacy nominations rescheduled for June 18,” CEC Yadav said. He called on stakeholders to make the nominations process peacefull.
CEC Yadav urged the political parties and candidates to respect the voters’ right to peacefully elect the candidates of their choice in the second round elections and to avert any obstructions to this democratic exercise. “Security personnel deployed on the ground will actively discourage any activities aimed at obstructing anyone and stoking clashes during the election,” said the election chief.
The RJPN has announced it is to obstruct the polls, saying their demands for endorsement of the constitution amendment bill and sorting out of the issues of citizenship and federal boundaries prior to the elections have not been addressed. RJPN leaders and cadres have seized election material at Shrinagar in Dang district and protests rallies have been taken out in various parts of the country.
National observers, diplomatic missions to monitor polls
The EC is to allow over 7,000 local observers from 47 poll observation groups to monitor the phase two local elections. It has also allowed representatives of the 12 Kathmandu-based diplomatic missions to inspect polling centers in various districts. Contrary to its previous policy of not allowing diplomatic missions to monitor polls, the election body has allowed the representatives of diplomatic missions to go outside Kathmandu and inspect the polling.