CEC asks govt to ensure security for voters

Kathmandu, November 21

Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav today asked the government to ensure adequate security for all voters so that they could cast votes in a free and fearless environment.

Addressing a high-level security meeting at its central office in Kantipath, CEC Yadav directed  top officials of all security agencies — Nepali Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department — and the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure proper security for people.

CEC Yadav also directed officials to be more alert after the silence period started and to control incidents of poll-related violence.

EC Spokesperson Nabaraj Dhakal said the high-level security meeting was called after incidents of poll-related violence had increased. He said CEC Yadav also directed the officials concerned to ensure security for voters, candidates, EC staff and national and international election observers.

According to a press release issued by Dhakal, EC Commissioner Narendra Dahal asked officials to implement security planning prepared by the MoHA.

Another EC Commissioner Sudhir Kumar Shah, who is also the coordinator of high-level security committee, cautioned security officials to take appropriate measures to mitigate possible untoward incidents. He also directed them to take legal action against those found involved in anti-poll activities.

Stating that political parties should also help security agencies maintain peace and order, Shah asked security agencies to identify highly sensitive, sensitive and normal polling centres and arrange security accordingly.

Home Secretary Mohan Krishna Sapkota assured EC officials that the ministry was serious about poll security and was committed to providing security to all during elections. He said security agencies had arrested people involved in anti-poll activities.

Defence Secretary Binod KC said Nepali Army was always ready to  provide all kinds of help to hold elections in a free, fair and impartial manner.

Election Commission Secretary Begendra Sharma, Major General Sarad Giri, IGP of Nepal Police Prakash Aryal, IGP of Armed Police Force Singha Bahadur Shrestha and Chief of National Investigation Department Dilip Raj Regmi were present in the meeting.

The government has decided to hold provincial and parliamentary elections on November 26 in 32 districts and on December 7 in 45 districts.