KATHMANDU, May 8: Election Commissioner Ila Sharma has called on one and all for support and cooperation to hold the upcoming local-level elections in a free, impartial, reliable and fearless atmosphere.
Addressing the training organised by the General Election Observation Committee (GEOC) for those observers it is deputing at the national and district-level during the local-level elections, EC Sharma said she was fully confident that election observers would help guarantee an atmosphere in which women, dalits and people from the marginalised communities could vote without any fear in the election, a means of choosing the local government.
The Election Commission (EC) would monitor the activities of election observers as well, Sharma informed the programme, urging the GEOC to depute election observers in hilly and remote areas, too, in an equal number. "All election-related activities to take place before, during and after the voting will be under the surveillance of election observers."
It is noted that the EC has granted permission to 49 organisations to observe the upcoming election nationwide.
According to EC Sharma, special arrangements have been placed for the conveniences of aged citizens, people with disabilities, new mothers and helpless in voting.
Though the EC has not invited any international body to observe the local-level elections, arrangements have been made if a chief or representative of any diplomatic mission and development partner based in the country want to see over the election activities.
Also speaking on the occasion, former Chief Election Commissioner Surya Prasad Shrestha said the election was the means of the testing the degree of democracy and support and cooperation from all quarters was essential to make it successful.
EC Joint-Secretary Nawaraj Dhakal highlighted on the overall preparations for the election, election code of conduct and a role of observers.
GEOC chairman Himalaya Shamser Rana and member Krishnaman Pradhan requested all observers to do their duties neutrally.
The GEOC is to mobilise around 80 people as election observers in the local level elections scheduled to be held in two phases- May 14 and June 14. RSS