September 7, 2017 03:30 AM NPT
Various political parties with colorful processions heading for the election office in Birgunj on Wednesday to register their candidates for the Province 2 local elections.
KATHMANDU, September 7: Registration of candidates for the third round of civic polls, which will elect local representatives in eight district of Province 2 concluded peacefully Wednesday. The Election Commission (EC), which conducted the first and second phases of local polls in May and July, is holding the third round of the polls on September 18.
The upcoming elections will elect a total of 6,627 representatives in 136 local units including one metropolitan city, three sub-metropolitan cities, 73 municipalities and 59 rural municipalities in Province 2. Province 2 is one of the most populated province with a total of 2,664,950 eligible voters.
Except some sporadic cases of minor violence, the candidacy nomination process took place in largely peaceful atmosphere, EC officials said.
"Barring a few cases of intraparty disputes, the candidacy nomination process concluded in a peaceful manner. We have received reports of overwhelming participation of candidates of political parties and independent candidates," EC's former spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma told Republica.
Our reporters on the ground said that there were some disputes over candidates. In Siraha, NC district party office turned into a battleground after factions close to President Sher Bahadur Deuba and senior leader Ram Chandra leader clashed over selection of ward candidates. Twelve NC cadres were injured in the clash. Other parties including Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, CPN (Maoist Center) and UML also witnessed some disputes over candidates selection.
It is still unclear how many candidates filed their candidacies on Wednesday. EC officials said that the final list of the candidates would be published by Thursday morning.
"In some districts, the candidates showed up for registration just before 5 pm. Those who entered the election office premises before 5 will be allowed to file their candidacies. The candidacy filing process might continue until night," said Sharma, adding that the final list of candidates is likely to be delayed.
EC officials said that they are expecting slightly more candidates compared to the first and second phase of elections due to participation of various regional parties and independent candidates.
The first phase of the local level elections was held on May 14 in 283 local levels of provinces 3, 4 and 6, while the second phase was held on June 28 in 334 local levels of provinces 1, 5 and 7.
The EC has said that the election body has completed logistical and security preparations. The Ministry of Home Affairs has announced public holiday in Province 2 on September 18 based on the recommendation of the election body.
The EC has fixed 2,166 polling stations and 578 polling centres have been set up for the elections, according to the EC. The government is preparing to deploy, 31,500 government employees and around 60,000 security personnel for the elections.