KATHMANDU, April 11:The Election Commission (EC) has fixed polling stations in all 75 districts for the local level elections slated for May 14.
Based on the recommendations of the political parties and bureaucrats in the districts, the EC on Tuesday finalized the polling stations across the country, including in the remaining six districts of Province 2. Reports on polling stations were forwarded to the election body immediately after being finalized at the district level.
"All districts have now recommended the polling stations. We have also decided to endorse the recommendations from our side," said Election Commissioner Narendra Dahal.
Fixing polling stations is considered crucial for expediting poll preparations on the ground. The election body was in a fix regarding printing ballot papers, voter roll and voter ID and mobilization of returning officers to the local level as fixing the polling stations was delayed in tarai districts. Due to the delay in fixing the polling stations, the EC was focused on completing poll preparations in other districts.
Even as other districts finalized their polling stations, majority of politicians in Province 2 were reluctant to fix polling stations. Districts of Province 2 are said to be sensitive in terms of security as some political parties based in the region have been demanding that the constitution amendment bill should be endorsed and the number of local units increased before the elections take place.
Province 2, which is home to the agitating Madhes-based parties, includes Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Saptari, Siraha, Dhanusha, Mahottari and Sarlahi districts. Of them, polling stations had already been finalized in Bara and Parsa. Polling stations in the remaining six districts as well were finalized on Tuesday.
"Even as the Madhes-based parties opposed the process to finalize polling stations, other parties have made an understanding," said EC Spokesperson Surya Prasad adding, "In case of Mahottari and Saptari, the district committees headed by the election officers finalized the polling stations on their own."
Commissioner Dahal said the fixing of polling stations will now help the commission to begin poll preparations across the country and make the election possible in a single phase. "We hope all parties will now participate in the elections making the elections possible within the said date," said commissioner Dahal.
Encouraged by the fixing of polling stations across the country, the EC is continuing to print ballot papers, voter roll and voter ID cards. "Poll preparations will now be in full swing. We will conduct the elections within the set date," said commissioner Dahal.