Nepal | November 15, 2019

EC may extend voter-registration deadline

Poll panel likely to allow out-district registration as well

Arjun Poudel

Kathmandu, July 17

The Election Commission may extend the deadline for registering  voters’ names in the voter list and open out-district registration as demanded by the three major parties — the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist Centre.

Election Commissioner Ila Sharma told THT that the poll panel was likely to extend the deadline for registration of names in the voter list by 10-15 days and might as well allow out-district registration. Sharma said the EC would take a decision in this regard in a couple of days.

Out-district registration will allow voters to register for voting from districts other than their home districts. This provision will benefit people who work or study outside their home districts. Earlier the EC had asked voters to register their names in the voter list from July 16 to 30.  The EC had also said that voters could update their names only from their respective district election offices.

“We opened registration from July 16 to 30 expecting the government to announce provincial polls date by July 30. But it is less likely that the government will do the same,  so we want to extend registration deadline and open ODR,” added Sharma. She said the EC decided to update the voter list only from its district offices throughout the country, as it did not have permanent and trained staff who could ensure error-free entry.

According to Sharma, the election body will have to hire computer operators to update the voter list. “We were initially hesitant to hire temporary operators because we have seen in the past that their entries were full of errors,” she added.

Three major parties — the NC, the CPN-UML and the CPN-MC had requested the polls panel to extend the deadline for registration and to allow out-district registration. Commissioner Narendra Dahal added that the poll panel would try its best to address the concerns of political parties and the general public.

EC Spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma said the poll panel had taken the request of the political parties positively and it had been consulting its officials in district offices about the possibilities of collecting voter’s name from all the local levels and from the nearby election offices as demanded by political parties.

Earlier today, the CPN-UML’s delegation led by deputy parliamentary party leader Subas Chandra Nembang met CEC Yadav and demanded necessary arrangements for updating voter list from election offices throughout the country.

A version of this article appears in print on July 18, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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