BUTWAL, May 19: The counting of votes in Butwal Sub-Metropolitan City has been postponed. The counting was halted after a dispute arose during the counting of votes of ward 11.
According to the Office of the Returning Officer, the seal of one of the 11 ballot boxes was broken and the seal was found on the cloth. So far, the Nepali Congress has been taking the lead in the counting of votes.
CPN-UML cadres have been protesting saying that the seal of one of the ballot boxes of the ward they were confident about was found broken. However, of the four seals in the ballot boxes, only one was found in the cloth in a broken condition, according to the Office of the Returning Officer.
According to election officials, the security of the ballot boxes is the responsibility of the election office. They say, it is the responsibility of the election officials to take the responsibility of a broken seal in such a situation as no one other than the election staff and the security forces can enter the place.
A Nepali Congress leader said that the UML cadres, in cahoots with the employees close to UML, might have broken one of the four seals on the ballot box after the CPN-UML reached the point of defeat. Most of the employees participating in the election and vote counting process of Butwal are from Butwal Sub-metropolis. It is said that most of these employees are known as UML supporters.
The UML, which won the 2074 election by a huge margin, is now behind by 5,000 votes. The UML had won in ward 11 in 2074 BS by a huge margin of votes. But this time, due to the voting trend seen in other wards, this ward is also expected to slip out of UML’s hands and the Nepali Congress is likely to win here too.
Some have suspected that the UML may have mobilized its staff to carry out the scam. Leaders and cadres of the CPN-UML have accused the Nepali Congress of rigging the election. An all-party meeting is being convened after the dispute arose. The counting of votes in all other wards except ward 11 is underway.