Government’s Rs 515m for CA election wasted: CEC

Kathmandu, October 16:

The government’s investment of Rs 515 million and donors’ support worth Rs 533 million has failed to yield results after the political parties decided to suspend the November 22 constituent assembly elections, the Election Commission said today.

The Election Commission today informed that it spent Rs 515 million for different activities related with the CA election. The government had earmarked Rs 732 million to the EC for the purpose.

In addition, several donor agencies had pledged support worth Rs 533 million for the elections by providing help in kind or technical assistance. While some of the support materials have already been received, some are to be received soon in the future. This does not include the support from UN Mission to Nepal.

Of the government’s budget, the EC spent Rs 174.59 million, the District Election Offices spent Rs 302.68 million and the Office of the Election Oficers spent Rs 37.88 million, including expenditure of Rs 121 million for Voter Education Programme and Rs 118 million for training of election related officials, provided through the Peace Fund.

At a press conference today, Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokhrel said the EC’s efforts, time and resources could not be utilised properly because of the decision to suspend the election. “We have to say, the government could not utilise our efforts.”

The election preparation programmes got full momentum only from mid-May after the legal ground for holding CA election was formed, he said.

The EC put in much effort to prepare poll related regulations, directives, training and voter education materials. It also managed domestic and international observers, prepared election monitoring code of conduct, supplied and transported election related materials, established Media Centre and developed new technologies for monitoring mass media.

It had recently completed preparation, publication and distribution of 42 types of booklets as well as printing and distribution of 84 index papers, CEC Pokhrel said.

“We had appointed election officers, conducted trainings and published detailed election schedules,” he added.

He however, did not want to say what percentage of the efforts and resources were wasted.

At the least, the training provided to the election officials will not go waste as the officials can be deployed again if the elections were held in near future, he said.