The Kathmandu Post, 12th April 2017, Kathmandu
The Election Commission (EC) is scheduled to receive election materials from China on Wednesday, in first foreign assistance for the upcoming local elections slated for May 14.
The election body had sought stationery items, including pens, punching machine, stamp pad, ink, from the northern neighbour. “The election materials from China will arrive by air on Wednesday afternoon,” said an EC official, adding that the materials would be delivered to 21,000 polling booths.
China had also helped the election body with stationery items, ballot papers and office materials worth Rs175 million ($1.63 million) for the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections in 2013.
During Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s recent visit to China, the northern neighbour had announced the assistance worth 9 million Yuan (approximately Rs135 million) for the local level elections.
However, Baikuntha Aryal, chief of international economic cooperation coordination division at the Finance Ministry, said that they were unsure whether the pledged assistance at the time of PM Dahal’s visit was for supplying the election materials.
The EC had requested China, India and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to provide assistance for holding the elections. The UNDP is scheduled to deliver laptops, printers and toners on April 14, the commission said. The UNDP and the USAID are also help the EC conduct election-related education.