KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 20
The Election Commission has said that around 61 percent of voters cast their votes in the parliamentary and provincial elections held across Nepal today.
Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya said at a press briefing this evening that 61 percent voter turnout was based on the preliminary data. The percentage could go up when all data is collected. “However, this voter turnout is less than what the EC had expected,” he added.
In 2017, 68 percent of voters exercised their right to vote.
He said elections were held peacefully across the country except for some sporadic incidents of violence. The CEC said elections were postponed at 15 polling booths in four districts — Surkhet, Gulmi, Nawalparasi (East), and Bajura — due to clashes between rival parties’ cadres or disruptions.
Polling booths where elections were postponed today include the booth of Shanti Sirjana Primary School at Ward 4 of Devchuli Municipality, Nawalparasi (East); Simta Multiple Campus at Simta Rural Municipality of Surkhet district; Kali Gandaki Ganya Bhagwati Secondary School, Gulmi; and Nandeshwari Secondary School, Pipalchowr of Budhi Nanda Rural Municipality of Bajura district.
One person died and two people were injured in Bajuradistrict when security personnel opened fire at a polling station.
Thapaliya said it had directed government employees deployed for poll duty to arrest those who created trouble during the election and take action against them under the Election (Offence and Punishment) Act.
He said as there were reports from multiple places that due to voters and government employees’ negligence, some stamped parliamentary and provincial ballot papers were put in the wrong boxes, the EC planned to count the FPTP ballot papers and proportional representation ballot papers simultaneously. Earlier, the EC had announced that it would count the FPTP ballot papers first and PR ballot papers after finishing the FPTP ballot count. Thapaliya said the EC had directed district election officers to put valid ballot papers in the right boxes.
Thapaliya said that in most of the places where elections were postponed today, repolling would be held in the next two days but in some places the EC would be able to hold repolling only in the next three-four days as the EC might need to print new ballot papers for those places.
Ballot papers were being transported to chief election offices in districts. He said ballot papers from remote polling centers of seven mountain districts would be brought to district headquarters by 4:00 pm tomorrow using Nepali Army helicopters.
Thapaliya said that the EC was confident that it would be able to count all votes across the country in the next eight days.