EC urges all to exercise franchise without fearThirty-two districts will vote on Sunday in the first phase of House of Representatives and provincial assembly elections.
Thirty-two districts will vote on Sunday in the first phase of House of Representatives and provincial assembly elections.
Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav said at a press conference on Saturday that adequate security arrangements are in place and urged all to exercise franchise without any fear. “There are no security threats at polling centres; we are fully safe,” Yadav assured.
The EC has set voting time from 7am to 5pm. Though the EC has distributed new voter ID cards, it has said people who have their names on the voter roll will be able to cast their votes by showing IDs issued for local elections and 2013 Constituent Assembly polls, citizenship certificate, passport, driving licence, land ownership certificate or any other valid identity card with photo issued by government agencies.
The EC has arranged three sets of ballot papers—green for first-past-the-post candidates for the federal parliament, black for the FPTP candidates for the provincial assemblies and light red for the proportional representation system for both the federal parliament provincial assemblies. The second phase of elections are scheduled for December 7, completion of which will ensure a federal parliament at the centre and seven assemblies in provinces as envisioned by the new constitution adopted in 2015.
In order to ensure free and fair elections, the EC has asked political parties, candidates and other stakeholders including domestic and international observers to strictly follow the election code of conduct.
The EC has barred two European Union (EU) observers from monitoring elections following their “questionable activities” in Kanchanpur district. The EU’s poll observation mission has the largest number of monitors among the four international observers authorised by the EC to monitor the two phases of elections.
The poll body said it has already held discussions with the EU Election Observation Mission about the shortcomings seen in Kanchanpur.
The four international observer missions authorised by the EC to monitor polls are the EU, the Carter Center, Asian Network for Free Elections and Ankawa International.
EU poll mission defends its observers
KATHMANDU: The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) on Saturday defended the actions of two of its observers in Kanchanpur, saying they “have acted within their mandate and not breached the code of conduct meant for international observers”.
The EU EOM response follows the Election Commission (EC) decision on Friday to bar its two observers from monitoring the federal parliament and provincial elections.
Kanchanpur Chief Election Officer Rajendra Kumar Achayra on Tuesday recommended that the two EU observers be barred from monitoring for entering the premises of the district court and asking questions that they should not have asked in the capacity of poll observers.
“The EU EOM has a memorandum of understanding with the EC, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which allows observers access to all aspects of the electoral process, including electoral dispute resolution and electoral justice, which fall within the remit of the District Courts,” the EU EOM said in a press statement. “The EU EOM will continue its observation of the whole electoral process in an independent and impartial manner, contributing towards a transparent and peaceful electoral process,” it added. (PR)