Nepal Votes: Slow vote counting exposes poor skills of Election Commission

Nepal's local polls were held on Friday. The vote counting is taking a long time but Nepal's election management body looks blithely indifferent.

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NL Today

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Kathmandu: The counting of votes in Nepal’s local elections 2022 began from the evening of the elections day on 13 May 2022. Election Commission Nepal, the election management body of the country, has said it could take several weeks to count all the votes across the country and for all the results to be declared.

The commission has assured to complete the counting by May 19, but it is likely that the process will take longer given the current pace of the counting, especially in the large metropolises.

On Sunday, the commission issued a press release appealing to all stakeholders to support the vote counting process to ensure the timely completion of counting.

“Serious attention of the commission has been drawn over the act of halting the counting process, chanting slogans, and scuffling at the counting centers,” reads the statement. “This type of act will hinder the commission’s target of completing vote counting of local elections by May 19.”

The commission has not explicitly mentioned the names of any particular political party or vote counting centers where such incidents were reported.

Extra precautions have been taken this time in the vote counting process due to the 2017 Bharatpur incident where two Maoist cadres had torn up the ballot papers.

CCTVs have been installed in the counting centers. Some centers are fenced to keep the onlookers at a distance.

Of 754 total local units, the commission has announced the results of only 28 local units so far. The counting process in Kathmandu and other big cities is taking longer than expected.

Meanwhile, people on social media have started to express frustration with the Election Commission as the counting process is progressing at a snail’s pace.  If the same pace continues, a social media user mocked, it might take five years to complete the counting process. 

The Election Commission has been widely criticized for failing to speed up vote counting process.