Fri, 09 Jun 2023

Kathmandu [Nepal], November 20 (ANI): Nepali voters headed for the periodic general election with the hope for a "stable government and development" as the polls opened in the wee hours of Sunday.

It is the second general election since the promulgation of the constitution in 2015.The earlier round of the elections conducted in 2017 failed to meet the expectations of Nepali voters as the government didn't last for long.

With two house dissolution attempts by the then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Nepal plunged into political crisis and chaos. Maniratna Bajracharya, a voter after casting his vote at a polling station in Kathmandu said that they are hoping for a "stable government." Speaking to ANI, Bajracharya said, "We want a stable government so that it can function well, this is what we are hoping for this time."Bajracharya further added, "I have the expectation from the candidates that they would work for positive changes." The Election Commission (EC) has called on the people of Nepal to exercise their franchise without being influenced, fearful and intimidated.

The Election Commission said that all managerial works related to the election were completed and security arrangements were in place to make the elections free, fair and credible.It further stated that 246,960 officials and around 3 lakh security personnel have been deployed for the smooth functioning of the elections.

The EC has directed the election staff, security personnel, observers, monitoring team members or any individual to inform the concerned authorities about any activity that hinders the election process. It asked the concerned authorities to prevent such activity from happening and take action against the wrongdoers.

Three layers of security arrangements have been made and a "reserve force" was in place which could reach the site within 30 minutes to deal with any untoward activities. According to the Election Commission, there are a total of 17,988,570 voters registered with the Election Commission and 22,227 voting centres in 10,892 polling stations.

As many as 141 temporary polling centres have been established and around 450,000 temporary voters could cast their vote from their nearest polling centres.

Speaking to ANI, another voter Abinash Sharma in Kathmandu said, "We are hoping for stability in the political situation from tomorrow. The election indeed has given us enthusiasm and encouragement. I have confidence that we would soon get a stabilized government."Abinash Sharma further added, "From the candidates, I have expected basic needs of the hour - development of roads and other amenities which has a high value in our daily life. When the basic things are achieved we will certainly achieve other things."Notably, 2412 candidates are contesting for the House of Representatives under the First-Past-The-Post system (FPTP) while 2,199 candidates are vying for Proportional Representation (PR). Furthermore, 3,224 candidates are running under the Province Assembly under the FPTP system, and 3,708 under PR.

A total of 80,567,500 ballot papers have been printed and transported to the designated polling centres for the twin elections. A team of the body to manage elections including chief election commissioners of neighbouring India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Maldives and election commissioners of Sri Lanka and South Korea will observe the voting.

Representatives from 18 diplomatic missions in Nepal will also observe the elections. Furthermore, a total of 7,219 people from 44 national and 12 from two international organizations are observing the elections to help enhance the credibility of the election.

The observers will supervise the elections in 165 constituencies of the House of Representatives and 330 constituencies of the Provincial Assembly. The Ministry of Home Affairs has urged people to vote confidently in the election as adequate security arrangements were in place for it.

A total of 115,0000 temporary police have been mobilized for the election and there will be three layers of security. Police have been placed in the first layer, Armed Police Force in the second, and Nepali Army in the third layer. (ANI)

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