KATHMANDU, Feb 13: Over 250,000 new eligible voters have been registered with the Election Commission (EC) during a nation-wide mobile voter registration campaign launched in view of upcoming three sets of elections.
The mobile voter registration campaign, which began since November 19, ended last week. The country has to hold local, provincial and national elections by January 2018, as per provisions in the constitution. “Our mobile voter registration campaign has officially ended. Now onward, we will register voters only from our district offices,” said EC spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma.
The election body has mandated the District Election Office and District Administration Office to register eligible voters. The number of new voters is said to be considerably low as the campaign could not include the voters who are currently living aboard for employment, business and study. On an average 1,500 youths leave the country for employment.
Such registration, according to officials, will continue until the government finalizes the constituencies delineations. “Before wrapping up voter registration we will process data for verification,” said Sharma.
As many as 12.21 million voters were registered for 2013's Constituent Assembly elections. Nepal's EC has begun voter registration with photos and finger prints following the controversies regarding numbers of voters in 2008's CA elections. Some of the candidates were declared winner with more votes than actual numbers of voters recorded in voter roll.
This figure was a considerable drop from 17.6 million votes cast in the 2008 CA elections. The number, according to the officials, decreased this time because the old electoral voter roll included non-existent voters -- those who had migrated or died. Additionally, EC officials have found multiple registrations during the first digital voter registration.
Meanwhile, EC has also received a list of the parties contesting in the upcoming local elections. The EC had earlier requested political parties in all districts to provide it with their details.
According to the EC, 45 parties, the largest number among districts, are registered in Kathmandu district while Manang has only six parties, the least among districts. “This will help us to finalize the size of ballot paper and begin preparations for other logistics,” said spokesperson Shamra.