KATHMANDU, July 5: As part of internal preparations for conducting by-elections to fill 47 vacant positions at the local, provincial and federal levels of government, the Election Commission has urged eligible voters to register with local election offices at the earliest.
Unregistered voters are not allowed to cast their ballots even if they are of eligible age. Political parties and the election authorities are being asked to encourage eligible voters to reach the nearest election office and register before the polls are announced.
Under the law, the election offices must stop registering new voters once an election date is announced. The request from the EC comes after consultations by the election commissioners with the president, the prime minister and other stakeholders about holding the by-elections. The EC plans to hold the by-polls within November.
“Since listing in the voter roll is mandatory for exercising one's vote, those eligible to vote but missing from the list are urged to get themselves registered ,” the EC stated Thursday in a press statement.
The EC had conducted all three sets of elections in 2017 . But nearly four dozen positions at local, provincial and federal levels have since fallen vacant as some of the elected representatives later died. As per information provided by the EC, one seat in parliament and three in the provincial assemblies are currently lying vacant.
A parliamentary seat fell vacant after then tourism minister Rabindra Adhikari was killed in a helicopter accident in Taplejung in February. Adhikari was member of parliament from Kaski-2.
Provincial assembly seats have been lying vacant in Dang, Bhaktapur and Baglung following the deaths of lawmakers Utter Kumar Oli, Harisaran Lamichhane and Tek Bahadur Gharti. All three were elected under first-past-the-post .
Likewise, four positions of rural municipality chief/deputy chief , one municipality chief and 38 ward members are also vacant.