Crucial Local Polls

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Nepal is at the last preparatory stage of holding its local level elections slated for May 13, Friday. The silence period of 48 hours prior to the start of voting is in effect from Tuesday midnight. Political parties, cadres and candidates have conducted their election campaigns largely peacefully across the country. As many as 17,733,723 voters will exercise their adult franchise in this crucial democratic event. They will be in the polling stations to cast their votes to pick the candidates of their choice. They have this democratic opportunity to give mandate to their local level representatives for the coming five years.


The new constitution, promulgated by the second Constituent Assembly in 2015, declared Nepal a federal democratic republic, with three-tier governments -- federal, provincial and local. As per the laws and provisions chalked out under the 2015 constitution, there are753 local units, six metropolitan cities, 11 sub-metropolitan cities, 276 urban municipalities and 460 rural municipalities. The first local elections under the new political and administrative set-up were held in in 2017. The elected local bodies and their representatives throughout the nation are completing their first term successfully that is a milestone for the democracy and political stability of the country. 


Now the Nepali people are ready to elect their new representatives for the next term. As many as 79 political parties and more than 145,000 candidates are vying for different posts in the elections. The voters will elect a total of 35,221 representatives for the different posts of various local units among them. According to the spirit of the constitution, the local bodies are the fundamental agencies for development and prosperity of the country. That is why it is crucial for every voter to choose the deserving candidates for the posts of their local governments. To choose right persons for the right posts, it is necessary to create free, fair and peaceful atmosphere for the voters to cast their votes. Free and fair election is the backbone of democracy. 


Conducting the free and fair local elections would not only strengthen democracy and political stability of the country but also create environment to boost greater people’s participation in the periodic polls. In this regard, the government and its agencies are putting their best foot forward to ensure peace and security in the elections. Since the date for local elections has been announced, the government has been extending all logistic support to the Election Commission so that the latter will not face any obstacles to conduct the polls in a peaceful manner.


All the stakeholders, including political parties, their candidates, cadres and common citizens have to cooperate with the EC in holding the polls. Only the government and its agencies cannot guarantee full security and peace during the elections without the necessary cooperation at the community level. Similarly, media, civil society and poll monitoring bodies should also contribute to free, fair and fearless polls. It is the responsibility of all, specially the political parties and their candidates to abide by the poll code of conduct so as to create a level playing field for all enthusiastically involved in this grand democratic exercise. 

 
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