Nepali Congress leads local election vote count; opposition claims polls rigged
On the third day since the formal start of vote-counting after Friday's local election, the ruling Nepali Congress has taken lead with its candidates continuing to get elected as chiefs in the largest number of local bodies.
On the third day since the formal start of vote-counting after Friday's local election, the ruling Nepali Congress has taken lead with its candidates continuing to get elected as chiefs in the largest number of local bodies. Until Monday mid-day, the Nepali Congress (NC) has secured 46 seats for the post of mayor out of the 735 posts that are currently being contested. Meanwhile, the opposition CPN-UML is trailing NC with 42 wins in the mayoral posts, as per the Election Commission data.
CPN (Maoist Center) and CPN (Unified Socialist) follow with 24 and two respectively. An independent candidate has been elected in one local body. Results have already arrived for smaller local bodies in the hills and mountains of Nepal while the areas with a larger population are struggling to count them up.
Trailing behind in the vote count, the opposition Communist Party of Nepal- Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) has accused the ruling alliance of rigging Friday's local elections. General Secretary, Shankar Pokhrel issued a statement on Sunday evening laying out 15 points where he claimed the ruling alliance mobilized bureaucrats and security personnel for rigging before, during, and after voting. He also called on the government to stop the activities that amount to rigging.
"The basic aspect of democracy is that people can elect their representatives freely, impartially and without any irregularities and participate in the running of the state affairs through the people's representatives," the statement read. "It is evident that UML has been in favor of empowering federal to local governments since the drafting of the constitution," it added.
The major opposition party has also urged the EC to hold re-elections and recounting of votes as per the application submitted by the party and concerned candidates to the election offices in the concerned municipalities and EC over different dates including on the Election Day. Reacting to the accusations made by the opposition, the General Secretary of Nepali Congress, the leading party of the ruling alliance took to Twitter against the statement.
"The CPN (UML) has raised many questions on the entire election process without even having the patience to wait for the final results after the preliminary details come out," Gagan Thapa, the General Secretary of the ruling Nepali Congress tweeted. Earlier in 2017, the Himalayan Nation had first held the local level polls after a gap of about two decades. The CPN-UML (Communist Party of Nepal- Unified Marxist Leninist) and the CPN-Maoist Center alliance had secured a majority in the local as well as provincial and federal elections.
Friday's election which comes after a gap of 5 years following the constitutional provision and second in line since the promulgation of the constitution in 2015, a total of 65 political parties, out of the total 79 political parties registered with the EC for the poll, are in the fray. A total of 17,733,723 voters were eligible to cast their vote to choose a total of 35,221 representatives at local levels. Of the candidates, 355 contesting for different positions from various political parties were elected unanimously before the nation headed for poll followed by 35 independent candidates including six contesting for the ward chairmen.
The election commission had set a total of 10,756 polling stations and 21,955 centers across the country to ensure the voting rights of the public. Likewise, 145,011 candidates from various political parties and independent candidates -- 55,698 female and 89,313 male are in the fray. Friday's election will elect leadership in 753 places including 6 metropolitan cities, 11 sub-metropolitan cities, 276 municipalities, and 460 village municipalities. (ANI)
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)