EC seeks govt nod to print ballot papers for Province 2

Kathmandu, April 6

The Election Commission is awaiting the government’s green signal to start printing of ballot papers for Province 2.

The election body, which has completed printing of ballot papers for 67 districts, said it could not wait for too long to start printing of ballot papers for the remaining eight districts.

“Ballot papers will go to waste if the government takes a new decision,” said Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav.

Addressing a Training of Trainers on Election Management in Lalitpur, Yadav said he had also asked Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal take a concrete decision at the earliest.

He said the EC would start printing of ballot papers for the remaining districts, even if the government did not give its consent by this evening. Hundreds of thousands of ballot papers would go to waste and the government would have to take responsibility for this, said Yadav.

Province 2 is highly populous and the EC said polls schedule might be affected if printing of the ballot papers for Province 2 did not start immediately.

A source at the EC said the commission was in confusion as the government was reportedly working to increase the number of local bodies to bring on board the United Democratic Madhesi Front, which has threatened to disrupt local level polls slated for May 14.

Demanding that its demands be fulfilled, the UDMF has been staging protest programmes in the districts of Tarai-Madhes. Due to obstruction by the agitating UDMF, the EC has been unable to finalise polling stations in six districts — Siraha, Dhanusha, Rautahat, Mahottari, Saptari and Sarlahi — of Province 2.

“We have asked political parties to forge consensus on polling stations in the districts of Province 2,” said EC’s Commissioner Narendra Dahal. He said the commission had completed printing of ballot papers for 67 districts and was working on election symbols for Province 2.

The EC has asked chief district officers-led local committees, which comprise representatives of political parties, to forge consensus and send their reports immediately. Earlier the commission has asked all districts across the country to send their reports by March 23.

The commission said it would take a new decision on polling stations in those districts if the parties failed to forge consensus.