20 Sep 2017, Republica
KATHMANDU, Sept 20: Province 2 witnessed the highest voter turnout in the local elections with a 77 percent of the total voters participating in Monday’s elections.
After compiling details from the ground, the Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday announced that the province witnessed the highest voter turnout in the local elections as compared to the previous rounds of elections. The EC had conducted the first round of local elections in three provinces (3, 4 and 6) on May 14 and second round of local elections in provinces 1, 2 and 5 on July 14. The voter turnout, however, was recorded 73.81 and 73.38 in first phase and second phase local elections respectively.
Among the eight districts of Province 2, voter turnout was highest in Rautahat (80.4 percent) followed by Parsa (80.1 percent) and Bara (79.4 percent). Similarly, Siraha witnessed 77.4 percent turnout, Saptari saw 76.4 percent, Sarlahi saw 76.3 percent, Dhanusha recorded 76.7 percent and Mahottari witnessed 73.3 percent.
The election officials said the massive voter turnout shows that the voters respect the election process. They said massive voter turnout in the heartland of the Madhes movement has undone the narrative that there are differences over constitutional issues. “Whatever was narrated earlier, all the political parties participated in the historic elections. This is huge for democracy and implementation of the constitution,” said EC Spokesperson Navaraj Dhakal.
Asked about the possible reasons behind the massive voter turnout, Dhakal attributed this to the voter awareness campaign conducted by the political parties and easy access to polling centers. “Compared to other regions of the country, voters in Province 2 did not have to walk longer distances to cast their votes and we had set up maximum number of polling centers in the province considering the population density,” Spokesperson Dhakal said adding, “This also helped to increase the voter turnout in the province.”
The EC had conducted third round of local elections on Monday in eight districts of the province. It will elect a total of 6,627 local representatives including chiefs and deputy chiefs of 136 local units and members of ward committees.