Phase II polls witness 67pc turnout
Kathmandu, December 7
The Election Commission said the second phase of provincial and parliamentary elections were held peacefully and enthusiastically, witnessing a voter turnout of over 67 per cent across the 45 districts that went to the polls today.
With completion of the second phase of elections, vote counting of the first phase of provincial and parliamentary elections that were held on November 26 in 37 constituencies of 32 districts started at around 5:00pm today.
Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav said at a press conference after voting was over that voter turnout percentage could rise, as the EC had yet to include data from some places. He said counting of votes for the second phase elections would start once ballot boxes from the respective constituencies were transported to offices of chief returning officers and returning officers and consensus among parties regarding vote counting was forged.
He said the highest turnout was in Gulmi district, where 71 per cent voters cast their votes. Voter turnout was 65 per cent in the first phase of provincial and parliamentary elections held on November 26.
According to Yadav, polling was by and large peaceful, barring a few sporadic incidents of violence. Of the 15,344 polling booths, election was suspended in polling booths ‘A’ and ‘B’ of Mathura Lower Secondary School, Neta polling station of Sandhikharka Municipality-5 of Arghakhanchi district. Cadres of political parties damaged ballot boxes and tore ballot papers, protesting distribution of ballot papers without the signature of polling officer. The EC stated that fresh polling would be held there within a few days.
Yadav added that the EC had started transporting ballot boxes from all districts that went to the polls today to offices of chief returning officers and returning officers after 5:00pm. He said ballot boxes would be kept under direct supervision and control of chief returning officers and returning officers of respective constituencies till counting began.
Votes were cast for a total of 128 parliamentary FPTP constituencies and 256 provincial FPTP constituencies today. Voters also cast their votes under the PR system for which the entire country is a constituency.
The poll panel had allowed voters without new voter ID to cast votes using any photo identity card issued by the government offices, such as driving licence, citizenship certificate, passport, land ownership certificate or
voter ID card issued for the 2013 Constituent Assembly elections.
Polling officers had made special arrangements to enable voters with disabilities, new mothers, senior citizens and incapacitated and sick voters to cast their votes easily. The EC had also made provisions for the visually challenged voters to enable them to vote with the help of their kin after getting permission from polling officers.