Polling stations finalised for 74 districts

Kathmandu, April 11

The Election Commission today said seven districts of Province 2 had sent reports finalising polling stations until this evening.

Out of eight districts in Province 2, district election committees of Bara, Parsa, Dhanusha, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Siraha, and Rautahat have sent reports finalising

polling stations, according to Spokesperson for EC Surya Prasad Sharma.

“We are awaiting report from Saptari district,” said Sharma, adding that the EC has asked its district committee to furnish reports on polling stations at the earliest. He said the district committee led by the chief district officer comprising representatives of political parties active at the local level in Saptari was trying to forge consensus on polling stations.

Due to lack of reports on polling stations, the commission has not been able to publish voter rolls, voter identity cards and ballot papers in those districts. Sharma said report on polling stations was needed to launch voter education drive at the local level.

Earlier, the EC had asked all the district committees to send reports on polling stations by March 23. Due to obstruction from the United Democratic Madhesi Front, district committees could not prepare reports on polling stations. Only Bara and Parsa districts of Province 2 sent reports before March 23.

Sharma admits that some districts of Province 2 had prepared reports without taking consent of representatives of agitating Madhesi parties. “Representatives of the major parties such as Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist Centre and some fringe Madhes-based parties have given their consent on polling stations,” Sharma added. Earlier, the poll panel had threatened to retain polling stations of the second Constituent Assembly polls held in 2013 in six districts of Province 2, if the parties failed to forge consensus on contentious issues.

Meanwhile, the EC said it was working to conduct local level elections in single phase and on the stipulated date.  The EC’s comment comes at a time when some ministers and senior leaders of ruling parties have hinted that local level elections can be held in two phases and the number of local bodies can be increased in Province 2.

“Remarks by ministers and leaders of ruling parties about polls put us in a quandary but we have not halted poll preparations,” said Sharma. He said the commission would not halt preparation from its side until the government asked it to do so in writing.