Problem persists in three districts as Election Commission fails to resolve issuesThe body is studying the disputes and has announced re-polls at a centre in Bajura.
While the vote counting of the federal and provincial polls held on November 20 is in full swing, three constituencies—Dolakha, Syangja-2 and Bajura—are yet to crunch the numbers as the Election Commission has yet to resolve the disputes there.
Kamal Bhattarai, assistant spokesperson for the Election Commission, said his office is studying the disputes at the constituencies in question and has instructed re-polling at one centre in Bajura.
Despite the disturbances, Election Commission officials have said counting will be completed by November 28 in all three constituencies.
Chairman of the CPN-UML KP Sharma Oli has also demanded re-election in the three constituencies, accusing the ruling coalition of rigging the votes there.
“Using state power, booths were captured in Dolakha, Syangja and Bajura,” Oli told reporters in his home district Jhapa. “The Election Commission should conduct re-election at those places.”
On the evening of November 20, Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Thapaliya had told the media that elections were disrupted at 15 different polling stations. But later, disturbances were found only at four places—Nawalparasi West, Gulmi, Surkhet and Bajura.
Later, the commission conducted voting in Nawalparasi West on November 21 and in Gulmi and Surkhet on November 22.
Chief Election Officer in Syangja-2 Ram Chandra Sharma said a report has been forwarded to the commission about the controversy.
“We have answered the Election Commission’s questions, detailing the situation of the constituency,” Sharma told the Post. According to Sharma, both sides—the UML and Nepali Congress-led alliance—have filed complaints claiming vote rigging at 11 polling centres of the constituency.
“We are waiting for the commission’s decision whether to start counting or conduct re-polling,” Sharma said.
The Nepali Congress and the parties in the ruling alliance have demanded the commission start counting the votes immediately while the UML has been demanding re-polling, accusing that the Nepali Congress captured booths at different places.
The commission has already instructed the Chief Election Officer of Bajura to conduct re-polling at Budhinanda Municipality-5 by Saturday.
“We have made all the necessary preparations for the re-polling at Budhinanda Municipality-5 for Saturday,” said Dhakaram Poudel, chief election officer of Bajura district. “We have also forged an agreement among all the parties concerned.”
According to Poudel, besides Budhinanda-5, the Congress has demanded re-polling at eight centres and the UML has demanded re-polling at 16 centres, accusing their opponents of rigging the vote.
“We have informed the commission about their demands but we have not yet received any decision regarding those 24 polling centres,” Poudel said. “If the commission decides to go for a re-polling at those places as well, we will need reprinting of ballot papers.”