Kathmandu, May 12 The General Election Observation Committee released its preliminary report on preparations for the first phase of local elections, saying there was a risk of violence during the polls. Releasing its report at a press conference here today, GEOC led by Himalaya Shamsher Rana said there was a risk of violence during polls as the political forces who have boycotted the local polls could use force and the security forces could also use force in retaliation. GEOC members Govinda Das Shrestha and Hasta Bahadur Gurung presented the findings of the report. GEOC said in its report that the government had not taken concrete action against those who wanted to disrupt local polls. “But security personnel are committed to providing security for the polls,” GEOC stated in its report prepared after its observation in 15 out of 30 districts of Provinces 3,4 and 6 where the first phase of local polls will be held on May 14. GEOC said although the government mobilised security personnel in Gaurishankar Village municipality of Dolakha district where clashes between the CPN-Maoist Centre and the CPN-UML left one CPN-UML cadre dead, people in the village were still living in fear. “Government’s role in the aftermath of Dolakha incident is not satisfactory,” it added. It said that many genuine voters who had got their voter identity cards in previous elections did not find their names in the voter list this time and disgruntled voters could resort to disrupting the polls which the Election Commission should be sensitive about. “In some places, voters who voted in the 2008 Constituent Assembly polls are being deprived of the same opportunity this time as their names are not in the voter list,” GEOC said in its report. It further stated that there were discrepancies in the details printed on the voters’ identity cards. It said voting could take a little longer due to overly long size of ballot papers. “In some places two to four hours extra might be needed to allow voters to cast their votes but the government has not made arrangements for such eventualities, including electricity,” GEOC said in its report. According to Election Commission, there are 30,005 (60.82 per cent) male candidates and 19,332 (39.184 per cent) female candidates in the fray for the first phase of local polls. Percentage of male candidates for the post of chiefs of local levels is 91.65 per cent (1723 candidates) against women’s 8.35 per cent (157 candidates), but the percentage of women for the post of deputy chiefs of local levels is 81.43 per cent (1127 candidates).
GEOC warns of possible violence during civic polls
Published: 03:30 am May 13, 2017