Counting at Saraswati Campus likely to begin

KATHMANDU: The still pending vote counting of the Free Students’ Union (FSU) poll at Saraswati Campus is likely to begin on Sunday after 21 days of the election. The vote counting was withheld due to a dispute between the student unions on whether to count the votes cast on each ballot boxes separately or count them mixing it altogether.

“The counting of votes is most likely to begin on Sunday,” said Rajyalaxmi Khadka, campus chief and chief election commissioner of the newly formed election panel. “We are holding a meeting at 7:00 am on that day and will start counting the votes after the meeting,” she told this daily.

The FSU poll scheduled for March 19 was postponed to April 12 after a dispute between the student unions. Though the election was held on April 12, the vote counting was disrupted after the All Nepal National Independent Students’ Union-Revolutionary said that the votes cast on all the ballot boxes should be counted together. The row on determining a code of conduct for the counting of votes led to the postponement of the vote counting.

Similarly, Uttam Pathak, president of the Nepal Students’ Union, campus unit and candidate for vice president, also said that the counting of votes would start day after tomorrow. “The votes cast on each ballots will be counted separately as per the rules and norms,” he added.

Himal Sharma, central leader of ANNISU-R, said that the vote counting method should be decided on the basis of consensus. “We still have not reached on a consensus on the vote counting method,” said Sharma, adding that the regular studies of the campus should not be hampered due to it.

Regular and academic activities of the campus have been halted for about a month following disputes between the students’ unions.

Campus chief Khadka said that discussions were held with different stakeholders including Tribhuvan University authorities to resolve the problem at the earliest. “Mixing all the votes and counting them together is against the set of rules and standards of TU. We cannot violate the rules. We will count the votes as per the rules,” added Khadka.

Following the dispute, 18-member poll committee headed by Krishna Paudel of Saraswati Campus resigned from his post on April 18. After that a separate 5-member vote-counting panel led by campus chief Rajyalaxmi Khadka was formed to resolve the pending problem. A joint panel of the NSU and the All Nepal National Students’ Free Union and the ANNISU-R panel are the main rivals of the FSU poll in the campus.