Govt deputes all returning officers for local polls

Published On: March 29, 2017 12:10 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 29: In view of the upcoming May 14 elections, the government has deputed all chief returning officers and returning officers required for the management of the elections in all 744 local units. 

The government, which had already deputed 255 under-secretaries from the legal service as returning officers, filled the remaining positions of returning officers from the administrative service on Tuesday following request from the Election Commission. "The government has now deputed all returning officers required to manage the local level elections. We are going to train them and deploy them to the districts," said Election Commissioner Narendra Dahal.

Dahal said the deputation of chief returning officers and returning officers has paved the way for the election body to begin ground preparations. 

As per the law, district judges in all the 75 districts work as the chief returning officers. 

Contrary to the past tradition of deploying officials only from the judiciary as returning officers, the election body is also mobilizing civil servants as returning officers after the Judicial Council (JC) failed to produce the required number of judiciary staffers. 

The election body had requested the JC and Ministry of General Administration to provide enough legal officers to handle the elections, stating that it requires 744 returning officers, who would be responsible for the overall election management in the assigned local government unit.

The EC, which is busy in internal preparations for the elections, is preparing to deploy the returning officers to the districts before April 17. The chief district officers in the districts will have to bear the dual responsibilities of coordinating the overall elections in their districts and conduct the polls of local government in their surrounding areas.

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