There is no possibility of changing ballot box to rig elections: CEC Thapaliya

Published On: November 7, 2022 10:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Nov 7: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya has assured all that there is no possibility of changing ballot boxes to rig elections.

CEC Thapalia made this statement in a group discussion with former Chief Election Commissioners held in Kathmandu on Sunday. He reiterated that he had never received information that ballot boxes would be changed even after voting and also expressed his determination not to allow such a thing to happen in the upcoming elections.

He explained that even if the ballot box is changed, as the ballot paper is printed based on the security code, the ballot paper of the EC cannot be found in the changed ballot box. He said, "I have been working in the public sector for about 40 years. From my experience now, I am afraid that my position will end without knowing how this ballot box is changed.”

“We only print about 10 percent of the ballots. So that a polling station has tentative 1000 of voters. If there are 1,000 voters in an area, we send 1,100 ballot papers. This is because some ballot papers can be damaged. Ballot papers are printed from here. Now it has gone to the election officer's office. Then it is taken to the polling station by the election officer. Ballots vary from place to place. When someone prints a ballot box, there is a security code. Each ballot has a different security code,” said CEC Thapaliya.  

Similarly, he mentioned that the codes are written in secret diary. He requested people to not to have any suspicion as there is no possibility of anyone tampering with the ballot box. He also said that the commission is strictly checking if the election code of conduct is being followed or not.

Chief Election Commissioner Thapaliya also requested not to cast doubt on the ability of EC to conduct the elections in a free and fear-free environment. According to the EC, there is a plan to deploy around 10,000 observers in the election ensuring at least one observer in every polling station.

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