Election Commission clueless about number of contestants
Kathmandu, June 21
One day after the final lists of candidates vying for the second phase of local level polls were unveiled, the Election Commission has no idea about the total number of candidates in the fray.
The poll panel blamed slow internet connection and ‘communication barriers’ for its inability to figure out the exact number of candidates contesting in the second phase of elections scheduled to be held on June 28 in 35 districts of Provinces 1, 5 and 7.
EC Spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma said officials had been working to gather information from the EC’s district offices to figure out the total number of candidates in the fray. “We still don’t know the exact number of contestants in the second phase of elections,” said Sharma.
Out of 334 local levels in 35 districts of Provinces 1, 5 and 7, the EC has information about total number of contestants in 318 local levels, according to Sharma. He said 69,600 candidates of 318 local levels were vying in the second phase. He said the commission had yet to gather information about 16 local levels.
According to Sharma, all the local levels in remote districts do not have internet services. Telephone and mobile services also do not work properly in some places. “There is linguistic barrier in some districts, especially in Tarai districts, hampering collection of information over phone,” the EC said.
The poll panel stated that 15,038 posts, including those of mayors, deputy mayors, chiefs and deputy chiefs of rural municipalities and ward chiefs, were up for grabs in the second phase of elections.
On June 28, one metropolitan city, seven sub-metropolitan cities, 111 municipalities and 215 rural municipalities will go to polls.
According to the poll panel, there are 6,432,765 eligible voters in 35 districts of Provinces 1, 5 and 7. The EC has decided to set up 4,581 polling locations and 8,364 polling centres for the second phase of elections.