Invalid votes major concern in final round of Nepal's local level polls

ANI | Updated: Sep 20, 2017 23:55 IST

Kathmandu [Nepal], September 20 (ANI): The counting of votes in 135 out of 136 local bodies, which went to polls on Monday, is underway in Nepal with the Congress taking the lead amongst 45 political parties in the election fray.

Province no 2 has witnessed around 77 percent turnout (revised percentage by Election Commission, Nepal) with much peace than it was expected as the previous rounds of polls held in May and June had witnessed violence, but the final or the third one went peacefully.

"Counting of votes is underway in Province no. 2 which went to polls on Monday having 136 local levels except for the Rajbiraj Municipality. According to the data from the Joint Election Operation Center (JEOC) in Election Commission, vote counting in 135 out of 136 local bodies is underway. In Rajbiraj Municipality Ward No. 15 the candidate from Rastriya Janata Party's contesting for Ward Chief have died and the voting is scheduled to take place in that particular ward on September 21 and after that the counting of votes will start over," a statement from Election Commission Nepal stated.

The vote counting of the final round of local polls is underway amid tight security arrangements with the vote counting officials kept inside a barred frame to prevent violence like of Bharatpur Metropolitan City.

However, the major concern over the invalid votes is raised and expected to rise further.

In Rajdevi Municipality of Rautahat, 46 votes were termed invalid out of 100 votes. The tendency of invalid votes is rising simultaneously though the Election Commission has succeeded to reduce that in the 2nd Constituent Assembly election.

"The Election Commission officials were not in favor of voters education. They say, it is fine to ahead like that and also directed us to concentrate on other preparations rather than voters education," an election official seeking anonymity said adding, "With the continuation of this trend, the percentage of the invalid votes is surely to go up in the upcoming tier-two election as the voters will be much more confused because they have to vote for Provincial and National Assembly representatives in November and December."

The commencement of the polls and other two tiers of elections, which will be a milestone for the Nepali politics as well as the implementation of the lately promulgated constitution, will introduce new governing system in the country. (ANI)