Election Observers hail successful execution of elections

KATHMANDU: The election observation body comprising National Election Observation Committee (NOEC), General Election Observation Committee (GEOC) and Inclusive Women Network for Peace, Justice and Democracy (Sankalp) has applauded the Election Commission and related agencies for successful execution of Provincial and Parliamentary Elections held on November 26 and December 7 respectively.

The agencies issuing a joint press statement on Tuesday remarked that despite short period provided for preparations and incidents aimed at undermining the independence of election, the political parties, general voters and citizens enthusiastically participated in the elections. During these elections, the presence and participation by senior citizens, women, as well as differently-able people were equally encouraging.

The National Election Observation Committee (NEOC) had deployed 1039 trained observers at district, province and central level to observe elections in all 37 constituencies of 32 districts in the first phase. Similarly, in the second phase it deployed 2704 observers to all 128 constituencies of 45 districts. Furthermore, it also deployed mobile observer team in sensitive polling centers and mobilized team of election experts as observers to the centers to ensure that the observation was objective, factual and scientific. Likewise, in order to carry out data-based observation of all the phases of elections, it mobilized 165 long term observers.

Similarly, the General Election Observation Committee (GEOC) mobilized a total of 800 trained observers to observe elections in 30 districts in the first and second phase at local, district and central level. It also mobilized mobile observer team including expert observers from the center. In order to record and inform about the incidents that take place in course of polling, the GEOC operated a call center at its secretariat. The center recorded and documents details of incidents in districts on daily basis.

Likewise, Sankalp deployed 160 observers covering 10 districts of 5 provinces in the first phase and 750 observers covering 35 districts of 7 provinces in the second phase. It also involved district level and central team in the observation.

According to the observers' report, in 1307 (99.60%) polling centers there were at least 6 election staff as per the commitment by the Election Commission. In 1301 (99.20%) polling centers, ballot boxes were properly and clearly marked.  In 5 polling centers (0.40%), all necessary election materials were not available and 6 polling centers (0.50%) reported of lack of secrecy. In almost all polling centers observed by NEOC (99.70%), ink marks were put on fingers of voters.

However, violation of election Code of Conduct was also reported in some regions. “The false promises by candidates, parties in neighborhoods, excessive use of campaign materials continued during these elections as well. In many places use of pamphlets and campaign materials were found to be in violation of the code of conduct.  Data Received from NEOC Call Center state that in 82 polling centers observed campaign materials were found within the 300 meter perimeter of the polling centers.  Moreover, there were activities aimed at influencing voters outside 12 polling centers,” the statement read.