Nominations were filed on Sunday for the second phase of local level elections slated to be held on June 28 in Provinces 1, 5 and 7. This crucial process of polls was conducted in a normal and peaceful manner despite the threats of disruption by some anti-election elements. The disruptive forces had called a strike along the Terai belt in order to discourage the morale of the candidates, polling staffers and the political workers. But despite the threats and protests, aspiring candidates visited respective polling offices and filed their nominations as per the schedule. This is an indicator of the fact that the anti-election forces have found themselves in a weak position before the resolute and enthusiastic morale of the political parties, candidates and the voters. The government has put all the security machinery in active and alert gear to deal with any untoward activities that may erupt with the aim of making the election a failure. The successful holding of the first phase of the local elections in Provinces 3, 4 and 6 has sent a positive and inspiring message to the masses, polling staffers, candidates, party activists and the security personnel. This has also demoralised some dissenting forces that have refused to express their ownership to the new constitution and are trying to fish in the troubled waters. They can gain ground as long as some politicians tend to give them some leeway for uncalled for maneuvering and vested political scores. They prove to be ineffective and petty before the supreme willpower of the masses.
As the first phase polls have already been conducted in three provinces and the election in Province 2 is rescheduled for September 8, security personnel can now be mobilised with stronger concentration and intensity in Provinces 1, 5 and 7. Had the elections been held on a single phase all over the country, security forces could possibly not have that advantage. The onus lies on the government to leave no stone unturned regarding adequate security arrangements in view of the second phase local level election. Nothing should be left to chances when it comes to the issue of security and it is the best idea to prepare for the worst while keeping all hopes for the best outcome. According to the Election Commission, 6,432,765 voters are casting their ballots in the June 28 election to elect 15,038 local representatives. For this purpose, a total of 8,364 polling centres and 4,581 polling booths have established. These elections give electoral mandate to the local level representatives in one metropolitan city, seven sub-metropolitan cities, 111 municipalities and 215 Gaupalikas. News reports coming from concerned districts said that aspiring candidates filed their nominations with bold resolution and enthusiasm. The high spirit of the candidates coupled with overwhelming public support and good security arrangement are the sure components to make the election successful. It is a positive sign that Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal has also filed nominations of its candidates for the second phase of the local level election. The Terai-based party had been demanding amendment of the constitution to take part in the local election. The government has given word that the statute will be amended after the election. This promise seems to have persuaded the Terai-based party which is evident from its filing of nominations.
Kamini Rajbhandari is managing director of Nepal Telecom (NT), the state-owned telecommunication service provider of Nepal. Rajbhandari has been leading...