Nepal goes to polls today

Kathmandu, November 25

Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav urged all voters to enthusiastically participate in the first phase of provincial and parliamentary polls tomorrow and cast their votes without fear.

Addressing a press conference on the eve of elections, CEC Yadav said the EC had completed all poll preparations. The first phase of provincial and parliamentary polls will be held in 32 districts tomorrow. Altogether ballots will be cast for 37  parliamentary FPTP constituencies and 74 provincial FPTP constituencies. Voters will also cast their votes under the PR system. The entire  country is a constituency for the PR system.

He said voters who did not have voter identity cards or who had lost their voter ID cards, could use any photo identity card issued by government offices such as driving licence, citizenship certificates, passports, land ownership certificates or voter ID cards issued in the 2013 Constituent Assembly elections,  to cast their votes.

“We urge all voters to cast their votes in favour of their preferred candidates and parties tomorrow,” Yadav said, adding that all voters who have entered the polling centres between 7:00am and 5:00pm would be able cast votes.

CEC Yadav also directed all polling officers to make adequate arrangements to enable differently-abled voters, new mothers, senior citizens and incapacitated and sick voters to cast their votes easily. The EC has also made provisions for the visually challenged and incapacitated voters to enable them to vote with the help of family members after getting permission from polling officers.

Yadav said there were three types of ballot papers — one for parliamentary first-past-the-post election, one for provincial FPTP election and one for both provincial and parliamentary elections under the proportional representation electoral system.

He said the upper part of the proportional representation ballot paper was for the parliamentary election and the lower for provincial assembly PR elections.

Yadav, however, said if anybody was found casting vote in somebody else’s name, then he/she would be penalised as per the law.

“The Election Commission appeals to political parties, candidates and other stakeholders to contribute to the growth of good culture by adhering to the election code of conduct,” he said, adding, “There were rumours that polls would not be held. The first phase of polls will prove that wrong.”

The EC hoped that national and international poll observers would fully abide by Nepal’s laws, election code of conduct and code of conduct for observers.

Yadav urged media outlets to disseminate election related news only after duly verifying  facts.

He said the provincial and parliamentary elections, which were crucial for implementation of the constitution, would pave the way for sustainable economic development.

The  32 districts that will go to polls tomorrow include:  Solukhumbu, Sankhuwasabha, Bhojpur, Okhaldhunga, Taplejung, Panchthar,  Khotang, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Dhading, Sindhupalchowk, Dolakha, Ramechhap, Mustang, Myagdi, Baglung, Manang, Lamjung, Gorkha, Rukum East, Rukum West, Rolpa, Jajarkot, Humla, Mugu, Jumla, Kalikot, Dolpa, Darchula, Bajhang, Bajura and Baitadi.

Vital poll stats

  • Eligible voters: 3,191,945
  • Total polling centres: 2,919
  • Total polling stations: 4,465
  • Total candidates for provincial and parliamentary FPTP polls: 702 (282 parliamentary FPTP candidates and 420 provincial FPTP candidates).
  • 165 parliamentary candidates will be elected under FPTP system and 110 will be elected under the PR system