Biratnagar, July 10
Around 21 per cent votes have been declared invalid in the second phase of civic polls in Biratnagar Metropolis in Sunsari.
Though the regional election office had launched campaigns to minimise invalid votes to below 7 per cent, the number of invalid votes turned out to be three times more. Of the 113,000 voters, a total of 80,477 votes were cast in the metropolis. Of the total ballots, only 61,270 votes cast for the 14 mayoral candidates were deemed valid while the remaining 19,217 votes were null, according to District Election Office, Morang. As many as 1,029 votes of the 2,819 votes cast for mayoral candidates in Ward No 19 were declared invalid.
Similarly, of the total ballots cast for deputy mayoral posts, as many as 33,653 votes have been found invalid in the metropolis. Of the total votes, only 47,009 votes cast for the 14 deputy mayoral post were valid.
Of the 3,169 votes at Ward No 18, as many as 2,168 votes were declared null. Similarly, 42 per cent ballots cast for the first member in the open category was declared invalid at the ward.
Regional Election Office Biratnagar had deployed as many as 640 persons to educate voters in the district, as per Chief of the office Prem Prasad Sanjel.
However, he said that a large cache of votes turned invalid due to alliance between the forces in the polls, which created confusion among voters. Federal Socialist Forum and CPN-Maoist Centre and the CPN-UML and Madhes Democratic Forum had formed alliance for both mayoral and deputy mayoral posts in the metropolis.
A version of this article appears in print on July 11, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.