Kathmandu, April 10 The Election Commission is working on a plan to control rigging in the general elections. Acting Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav said today at a meeting of the State Affairs Committee that the commission was working to prevent use of money and muscle power during the elections to influence the voters. The commission is working on a plan to install CCTV cameras in polling stations, deploy micro monitoring teams and ensure fool-proof security, EC member Ila Sharma told THT. EC is also considering to embed security codes in the voters’ identity cards so that a polling officer can verify the authenticity of a particular voter through a cell phone app, she said. “If voting machine could be used fully, it will also help curb rigging,” she said. Although there has not been independent research, complaints of rigging are rampant in general elections. During the SAC meeting with EC members held today, members of the panel expressed their concern about the EC’s plan to control rigging. “Around three lakh government employees, including security officials, are deputed during general elections. However, the commission can neither take action against the supporters of those involved in rigging nor can it reward those who do exemplary work to ensure free and fair polling. The government authorities do not implement the commission’s instructions,” Sharma said. Nepali Congress lawmaker Ananda Prasad Dhungana said, “If we cannot ensure free and independent elections in a democratic system, it will weaken the system.” CPN-UML lawmaker Gangalal Tuladhar said the people who are involved in rigging should be treated as criminals and there should be sufficient attempts to check ‘buying and selling’ of voters during elections. Santa Kumar Darai of Unified CPN-Maoist said attempts should be made to stop the practice of capturing electoral booths by political groups. Nabindra Raj Joshi of Nepali Congress said the political parties should fully cooperate with the commission to ensure free and fair elections and there should be strong mechanism to control rigging. He said local bodies’ election in 14 earthquake districts should be held at the earliest, as the reconstruction and relief works were being affected in the absence of elected representatives. Acting CEC Yadav said the commission should be made economically autonomous and it should be free from all kinds of controls from the government. He demanded that the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers be made the commission’s contact office as it would create difficulties for the commission to work in coordination with other ministries, including Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Law and Justice.
EC working out plan to curb rigging
Published: 03:01 am Apr 11, 2016