Ensure fair re-polling in Bharatpur-19, says EC

Kathmandu, August 2

The Election Commission today directed all security agencies, including the Ministry of Home Affairs, to ensure free and fair re-election in Ward No 19 of Bharatpur metropolis on Friday.

The polls panel today held a meeting with high ranking officials of all four security agencies — Nepali Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department — including Home Secretary Lok Darshan Regmi and discussed ways to provide security during re-election in Ward No 19 of Bharatpur Metropolis.

“We have directed security agencies to ensure free and fair elections in Ward No 19 of Bharatpur,” said Election Commissioner Narendra Dahal. He said the polls panel had directed them to provide high-level security to all voters, candidates, election staffers, and ensure security of the polling centres and vote counting centres.

The Supreme Court had upheld the EC’s decision to hold re-polling in Ward No 19 of Bharatpur, where 90 ballot papers were torn by the cadres of CPN-Maoist Centre on May 29.

UML Mayoral candidate Devi Gyawali was leading in the vote counting.

The SC had quashed a petition filed by Gunjaman BK, UML candidate for Ward No19, Bharatpur, and advocate Tulsiam Pandey against the EC’s decision to conduct re-election. Commissioner Dahal said that they had also inquired about the security plan for the third phase of local level polls slated for September 18 in Province 2.

According to a press statement issued by EC spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma, Home Secretary Regmi told EC office bearers that the Ministry of Home Affairs was serious about  polls security and would present a separate security plan for the third phase of local level polls to the EC soon.

Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav, EC commissioners Ila Sharma, Ishwori Prasad Paudel, Sudhir Kumar Shah, and EC Secretary Maheshwor Neupane were among those who attended the meeting.