KATHMANDU: It’s Election Day in Nepal, and eligible voters are heading to the polls Friday to elect their new local representatives.
A total of 17,733,723 eligible voters will participate in the election to choose a total of 35,221 people’s representatives at local levels, the Election Commission (EC), which has ensured a fair, free and impartial voting process, said.
Of the candidates, 355 contesting for different positions from various political parties have been unanimously elected and 35 independent candidates including six contesting for the ward chairmen.
There are a total of 10,756 polling stations and 21,955 centers across the country.
A total of 65 political parties, out of the total 79 political parties registered with the EC for the poll, are contesting in the polls today.
As many as 109,088 employees and 65,865 volunteers have been deployed for the election.
Likewise, 145,011 candidates from various political parties and independent candidates — 55,698 female and 89,313 male — are competing in the polls, the EC said.
The voters, above 18 years of age, will elect their leadership in the election to be held in 753 places including 6 metropolitan cities, 11 sub-metropolitan cities, 276 municipalities, and 460 village municipalities.
The May 13 local election is the second local election since the adoption of the new constitution and the transition to federalism after the promulgation of the new constitution in 2015.
Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya has appealed to all voters to vote in a fearless manner.
“I want to request all voters to vote without being influenced and make the poll a success,” he said.
Thapaliya also referred to the right of every citizen to contest an election and the right of eligible voters to vote, as guaranteed by the constitution while stating that election is means for setting the foundation stone of the representative form of governance and for the meaningful practice of democracy.
Similarly, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has also appealed to all the eligible voters to use their voting right freely in the local election.
“Adult franchise is a constitutional right and a pillar of democracy. I urge all to contribute to the institutional development of the democratic governance system by participating in democratic practices from the local level,” he said.
Meanwhile, as many as two hundred sixty thousand security persons are providing security in the local level election.
Among them 100 thousand are the Myadi (temporary) police persons.
More than 65 thousand Nepal Police personnel, over 32 thousand Armed Police Force (APF) personnel and 71 thousand Nepali Army personnel are mobilized for securing the election.
Security is provided in three cordons. In the first cordon are the Nepal Police and Myadi police personnel, in the second cordon are the APF personnel and the Nepali Army personnel are mobilized in the third (outer) cordon, the Ministry of Home Affairs said.
Nepali Army spokesperson Narayan Silwal said that the Army has devised security plan so that the security persons will be able to reach the polling stations maximum within 30 minutes.