Main opposition obstructs House over Bharatpur vote count issue




Kathmandu : The main opposition CPN (UML) obstructed the Parliament session today, demanding that the vote count for Bharatpur Metropolitan City that has remained halted following the incident wherein some torn ballot papers with votes were found, be resumed at the earliest. The District Election Office, Chitwan decided to halt the vote counting shortly after volunteers deputed to assist the vote count themselves reportedly tore ballot papers on May 29. The Election Commission has already formed a three-member commission to deal with the incident. At the outset of the meeting, CPN (UML) lawmakers stood from their respective seats in a gesture of their objection to the House session. Amidst this, party’s lawmaker Surendra Pandey drew the attention of the EC towards the resumption of vote counting. “Victory and defeat are the norms of the election. The work of tearing the ballots in a fear of losing the election is unethical and such act undermines democracy and people’s verdict, all are supposed to accept the election result and the vote counting should be re-started immediately,” he asserted. Warning that the second round of the polls could not take place unless the halted vote count for Bharatpur Metropolitan City-19 is resumed, lawmaker Pandey demanded action against those behind the act of tearing up the ballot papers with votes. After Pandey expressed his view, Speaker Onsari Gharti announced the postponement of the meeting until tomorrow following the protest from lawmakers of opposition political parties by standing from their seats. The next House meeting will convene at 1 pm on June 1. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara was scheduled to present a proposal in the meeting seeking discussions on the annual estimation of revenues and expenditures for the next Fiscal Year 2017-18.