After polls, ballot box safety major concernA day after the first phase of the House of Representatives and Provincial Assembly elections, the Election Commission (EC) on Monday was busy collecting and securing ballot boxes with security agencies and political parties increasing their vigilance.
A day after the first phase of the House of Representatives and Provincial Assembly elections, the Election Commission (EC) on Monday was busy collecting and securing ballot boxes with security agencies and political parties increasing their vigilance.
Since the EC has decided to start vote counting only after the second phase of elections, which are scheduled for December 7, all the ballot boxes are now being secured at the offices of the chief election officers and election officers in headquarters of the 32 districts where voting took place on Sunday for 37 federal parliament seats and 74 provincial assembly seats.
Chief election officers and election officers have been entrusted with the task of keeping the ballot boxes safe with the help from security agencies, political parties and candidates, according to EC Spokesperson Navaraj Dhakal. “We have also issued directives about the ballot boxes safety,” he said. Safety of ballot boxes is of utmost concern after the first phase of elections, which were held peacefully and successfully, according to officials.
According to the EC, voter turnout for Sunday’s polls was 65 percent. Political parties and their representatives have said they would extend all the support the security agencies and the EC needs for the safety of the ballot boxes.
Concerned about the safety of ballot boxes, political parties in Sindhupalchok have even installed close-circuit television cameras. Ballot boxes in the district have been kept at the Agriculture Development Office (DAO).
“As many as five CCTV cameras have been installed,” said DSP Bimal Raj Kandel.
According to Kandel, 45 Nepal Police personnel and 35 Armed Policed Force cops are stationed at the DAO for the security of ballot boxes. Besides, representatives of political parties are also guarding the DAO premises.
EC warns against opinion polls, survey
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Ayodhee Prasad Yadav on Monday warned against opinion polls and survey on the Sunday’s federal parliament and provincial assembly elections until the second phase of polls are held.
Opinion polls and survey conducted on any medium or by any institution are against the election code of conduct, said CEC Yadav during an interaction with journalists on Monday at the EC headquarters in Kathmandu.
“The poll authority would initiate action against those who conduct opinion polls or survey on Sunday’s polls.”
As per Section 2 (4 P) of the Election Code of Conduct, no survey on votes obtained by candidates or political parties could be conducted from the date of candidate nomination until results are announced.
The EC has said vote counting will start only after the second phase of elections scheduled for December 7. It said opinion polls or survey before December 7 could influence the second phase of elections. Exit polls, opinion polls and survey, however, are common in most of the democratic countries.
Polls in 32 districts were held on Sunday in the first phase.