GEOC Pre-election Observation Report: Consistent reform in election process

Staff carrying ballot papers from the office of the Chief Election Officer to the polling station for the local level election, in Khalanga, the district headquarters of Jumla district, on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Photo: RSS

KATHMANDU: Except for legal and practical complexities, the election process is found to be gradually improving in the Local Level Member Election, 2022 as compared to the past elections.

An observation carried out by the General Election Observation Committee (GEOC), Nepal, prior to the local level election, found that the candidacy registration was done peacefully barring some sporadic incidents.

GEOC has carried out the pre-election observation in 200 local units of 30 districts through 400 representatives. The Pre-election Observation Report, containing the entire situation from the registration of the political parties and the candidacy registration process till a day before the start of the election silence period, has been launched today.

The report states that the political parties, candidates and even voters are becoming mature, the parties and candidates are involved in election canvassing in a peaceful manner barring one or two places, and the parties and the candidates are not found using force against each other.

GEOC, Nepal stated that the voters have felt a sense of security as the political party cadres have been calm during the election campaigning. It said the political party cadres did not have any bitterness, ill-will or dislike amongst each other and they were found to be calm and peaceful during the electioneering as compared to the past.

However, intra-party clashes were reported at some places on the day of registering candidacy due to dissatisfaction with the selection of candidates by the respective parties.

Staff verifying ballot papers at the office of the Chief Election Officer before taking them to the polling station for the local level election, in Ghorahi Sub-metropolitan City, Dang district, on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Photo: RSS

Although the political parties and stakeholders are aware of abiding by the election code of conduct, it is found that the candidates were present at the election offices with their supporters carrying flags, big banners and playing musical instruments with the goal of showcasing their ‘strengths’.

The report mentions that despite the decrease in the use of party flags and banners, the voters were annoyed by the party songs played and the loud noise in the speakers while canvassing for votes.

On the occasion, former Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha said that significant reform in the election process has started to be felt. Former Chief Justice Sushila Karki stressed making the election free, fair and credible for institutionalising democracy.

Election Commission spokesperson Shaligram Sharma Poudel opined that although the instances of violation of the election code of conduct have lessened during the pre-election period from candidacy registration till date, this was still far from satisfactory.

He shared that in the meantime the Election Commission has asked for clarifications from more than 60 candidates on code violation charge and action will be taken as per the law against those found guilty of this.

By RSS

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