KATHMANDU, Feb 21: The government on Monday, after consulting with Election Commission, decided to hold the local poll on May 14. The EC has shown its readiness and commitment to accomplish the election fairly and successfully, and in a single stage.
How is the EC planning to prepare for the election in the specified date with only 80 days remaining?
Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav talks about the opportunities and challenges of the May 14 election at an interaction program with media persons at Reporters’ Club Nepal presided by Club’s President Rishi Dhamala.
Dr Yadav said, “Of course! There are challenges for the upcoming election. The local level election is taking place after 19 years of gap. So I request all the concerned authorities and stake holders to take this more like an opportunity to successfully hold this election for the implementation of constitution and institutionalization of democracy.”
He added, “EC has eagerness and confidence. We have the required manpower and the government is helping us with all the necessary arrangements such as resources.”
He said, “Another power aspect of this upcoming election is the building environment of trust among the political parties, and they are showing their support and seriousness towards holding election which is very positive.”
“There are still some doubts about the election among the people. Now, it is also up to news media to clear such doubts and spread the positive message of the election.”
“Another important aspect of this election is the role of international community. I, from this Reporters’ Club’s gallery, want to request the international community to play their part in this election following their code of conduct.” He added.
He also said that one of the challenges of the election is printing, publishing and management of ballot paper and ballot box. “We need about 25000 plastic transparent ballot boxes with 80 liters capacity. As we don’t have home production for these boxes, we need to import them from other countries. It will take time, but the EC is preparing for it too.”
He added that since there is not much time for the management of electoral voting machines, Ballot paper will be used for voting. “As for its printing, Janak Sikshya alone cannot handle all the responsibility. There are about 21,000 voting centers. Different ballot paper has to be determined on basis of each ward and VDC. The EC is discussing on that.” He furthered, the EC has also requested the government to mobilize the government officer according to the new federal setup of the Restructuring report.
He further said that the EC will issue a directory of ‘code of conduct’ for election within a week. “All the power of the election commission is now focused on how to hold the election successfully and fairly. There can be some events inaccessible and beyond the reach of the EC’s visibility during the time of election. For that, political parties, media and the government will have to co-operate us to stop such chaotic conducts.”
He also said that the EC has already started action plan for effective voting education through media, booklets, brochures and other mediums.
“Although the May election may face several challenges, no problem is beyond reach of law, and can be solved.” He added.