Kathmandu, January 22

The Election Commission today said all preparations were over for the National Assembly elections scheduled to be held tomorrow.

Speaking at a press meet organised in Kathmandu today, Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya said the EC had completed dispatching ballot papers and other necessary logistics to all the election offices established in seven districts where high court is situated.

Those districts include Morang, Dhanusha, Lalitpur, Kaski, Dang, Surkhet and Doti. He informed that seven district judges were appointed as election officers on the recommendation of the Judicial Council.

Polling centres have been set up at Birendra Academy (Biratnagar) for Province 1, Mahendra Narayan Nidhi Memorial Building (Janakpur) for Province 2, Lalitpur Metropolitan City-3 Ward Office for Bagmati Province, District Election Office (Kaski) for Gandaki Province, Employee Meeting Centre (Ghorahi) for Province 5, District Election Office (Surkhet) for Karnali Province and Padam Public Mukti Narayan Higher Secondary School (Silgadhi) for Suburpaschim Province.

According to Thapaliya, as many as 2,056 voters, including 550 from provincial assemblies and 1,506 from local levels, are eligible to cast their ballots in the elections.

A provincial assembly member’s vote has been given weightage of 48, whereas a vote of chief or deputy chief of a local level will carry weightage of 18 each.

The voters would cast their ballots at the concerned polling centres from 10:00am to 4:00pm tomorrow. As per the Election to the Members of the National Assembly Act-2017, it is required to hold the Upper House elections 35 days before the tenure of one-third of the NA members expires. The 19 seats being represented by various political parties will fall vacant on March 3.

Of the 19 seats, one shall be appointed by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and the rest shall be elected on the basis of majority by an electoral college consisting of provincial assembly members and chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of the local levels.

Of the 18 NA seats, seven women, two Dalits, one from minority and differently-abled groups and two from ‘others’ group will be elected by the provincial assembly members and chairs and deputy chairs of local levels whose votes will carry different weightage.

Thapaliya said Nepal Communist Party (NCP), Nepali Congress, Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal, Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal, Rastriya Janamorcha and Nepal Workers and Peasants Party had filed candidatures for the elections.

“We have strictly put in place the election code, while making special security arrangements to hold the elections in a free and fear environment,” he said.