BAGLUNG, Dec 7: With the objective to prevent any untoward incident during vote counting, the Election Commission (EC) is preparing to count the votes of federal and provincial elections in Baglung district behind security fencing.
This could also be taken as an indication of growing mistrust between the EC and the political parties.
Baglung participated in the first phase of the elections on November 26. The voter turnout was 65 percent.
The district office of the Election Commission is preparing to start counting the votes from Thursday evening.
According to Chief Returning Officer Prakash Prasad Pandit, they have made arrangement to start counting the votes from 5 pm Thursday after the conclusion of the second phase of the elections. The votes will be counted at the District Coordination Committee, Baglung, according to Pandit.
Pandit further added that they have also installed CCTV cameras besides security fences at the vote-counting space. Representatives of political parties will remain outside the security fences, according to him.
EC was forced to take such measures after CPN (Maoist Center) representatives tore up ballot papers during vote counting of local elections in Bharatpur after their candidate Renu Dahal, daughter of the party's chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, appeared to be losing.
Following the incident the issue ended up at the Supreme Court. The court ordered a re-poll in ward 19 of Bharatpur Municipality and Renu Dahal won the mayoral race.
Around 120 employees will be involved in counting the votes, according to the District EC. "We are very careful not to let the vote counting be influenced by the vote counters' political leanings," said Pandit.
The district has a total of 86,756 eligible voters.