Province 1, House of Representatives and Province Assembly Election 2022- INSEC Monitors Vote Counting of Sunsari Constituency No. 4
INSEC Province 1 Office monitored on-site on November 29 regarding the suspension of counting votes in Sunsari Constituency No. 4.
INSEC Province -1 Chairperson Somraj Thapa said that a team, including former INSEC’s Chairperson Subodhraj Pyakurel and Thapa, reached the polling station and got information about the dispute between the election staff, candidates, and locals.
Chairperson Thapa said that the team asked the candidates to settle the dispute as per the instructions of the Election Commission.
The counting of votes for the Sunasari Constituency No. 4 House of Representatives member election, which halted on November 26, has resumed after three days.
The Election Commission responded to the petition submitted by Nepali Congress candidate and Minister of Communication and Information Technology Gyanendra Bahadur Karki on November 27, demanding a recount. It held an all-party meeting on November 29 and resumed the vote counting from 4:30 p.m.
According to Official Mohan Bahadur Adhikari, the candidates viewed the CCTV footage of the polling booth till midday, as proposed at the all-party meeting. The election commissions canceled the enumerator’s identity card and issued a new one. Furthermore, all the employees engaged in the counting were removed and replaced by the employees of the Sunsari District Court. The vote counting was resumed after that.
The instruction letter signed by Deputy Secretary of the Election Commission Rishiram Bhusal on November 28 also mentioned viewing CCTV footage of votes and keeping it safe as evidence.
Commission’s letter stated as per sub-section (1) of section 57 of the House of Representatives Election Act, 2074 and the Provincial Assembly Member Election Act, 2074, any candidate or the elected representatives of the respective constituencies could appeal for recounting to the election officer before the counting of a polling station has completed or counted ballot papers have been sealed f the votes of the said polling station have not been counted or the counted ballots have not been sealed as per sub-section per (2), there is a legal provision for recounting the votes.
However, if the ballots have been sealed, there is no legal basis to open the sealed ballots and recount the votes. Hence, the Commission gives notice as per sub-section (3), orders the resumption of the counting process, and instructs the Chief Electoral Officer to arrange for CCTV footage to be preserved in the polling station and show it to the concerned parties if they want to see it.
Jay Krishna Yadav
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