The Election Commission of Nepal (ECN) has decided to make the day before the upcoming local elections as the cut-off date for the young voters to complete their 18 years of age in order to make them eligible for voting the next day.
This means any Nepali citizen completing 18 years of age on May 12 can vote in the local level elections slated for the next day, May 13, 2022.
A Nepali citizen can obtain citizenship certificate after completing 16-year age but voting right could be exercised only after completing 18 years.
According to the ECN, this provision is being implemented for the first time in Nepal’s election history. It will ensure the voting rights for the additional 200,000 youth. The total number of voters on May 12 will be 17.9 million.
In the earlier elections, the election management body used to take the day on which the government announced the election date as the cut-off date.
There were 15.42 million voters in the elections in 2017 while on 20 December 2020, the number of voters had reached 16.24 million.
For the local elections, the ECN had stopped the voters’ registration activities since 8 February, the day after the government announced the dates for the polls. It is now updating the voters’ names.
“The ECN wants to ensure the voting right of every Nepali completing 18-year age. The voters’ registration process is stopped as per the legal provision of not continuing it after the announcement of the date for the polls,” Spokesperson of the ECN, Shaligram Sharma Poudel said.
Meanwhile, the election body said the preparation for the budget has reached its final phase. “About Rs. 12 billion is needed for the local polls and a proposal has been sent to the government for the same. While the budget is in the approval process, the ECN has expedited the process for the procurement of election materials with the approval from the Ministry of Finance,” read a statement issued by the ECN.
It has already approved the standards and specification for the tenders to be opened to buy equipment and materials.
Similarly, it has finalised the election schedule that includes the preparation for the final voters’ list, political party registration, preparation of voters’ education materials and launching campaign for it, making decision about the polling centres, human resource training, printing of voters’ identity cards and their distribution, election security and other election related activities.
The office time of ECN and offices under it is changed to 9 AM to 6PM and they will remain open in the holidays as well.
Earlier, the commission has formed a committee to study on the possibility of the use of electronic voting machines in the upcoming local polls. According to the Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya, the ECN is mulling to use the EVMs in six metropolitan cities and municipalities in the Kathmandu Valley.
Source : TRN,