In Nepal, the local elections are going to be held on May 13 (Baisakh 30) in six metropolitan cities, 11 sub-metropolitan cities, 276 municipalities, and 460 rural municipalities. As a responsible citizen of a country, you must be involved in the voting system held nationally to choose the right candidate.
To maintain the dignity of such valuable democratic institutions, it is essential to understand the code of conduct and the voting procedure. In this article, we will discuss the various dos and don’ts while participating in the activity of voting.
Eligibility and documents to take:
The age of eligibility for voting in Nepal is 18 years. When you reach the age, you will need to register your name in the voters’ list to get the voter’s identity card. With a copy of your citizenship and your photo, you can register yourself at the District Election Office or District Administration Office. But, this does not happen all the time. The Election Commission allocates a certain period for voter registration. When a new election is announced, the registration gets closed. It means you cannot register yourself as a voter today.
While taking part in the local elections in Nepal, you will need some documents to show your identity as a voter.
- Do bring your voter’s identity card
- If you are recently registered and have not obtained a card, do bring your citizenship certificate, which the officials use to verify if you are on the voter list
Code of conduct
A code of conduct refers to all the set of rules and regulations that participants in the election procedure–including the government, political parties, candidates, and citizens who are voting for them. So, here are the dos and don’ts of the code of conduct that needs to be fulfilled by you (as a citizen):
- Do take part in the election process as a responsible citizen and in a peaceful manner.
- Respect different ethnicities, communities, sexes, religions, languages, regions, and cultures.
- Do observe the local elections in a neutral, impartial, and credible manner. This means you should also not influence others to cast their votes.
- Enter the polling booths in an orderly fashion and exit through the guided path. Don’t crowd the booths, with additional precautions to take against the Covid spread.
- Carry your identification card and show that at every point.
- Don’t carry any weapon, gadget, drugs, or liquid materials.
- Don’t make any comment publicly or through mass media in support of or against any candidate or political party.
- Don’t accept gifts or exchange any other goods from/with candidates, political parties, employees, or other people related to the election.
- After exiting, do not share who you voted for, to maintain your right to secrecy.
You can read all the codes of conduct of all the participants in the election process including the government, candidates, political parties, etc. in the Election Code of Conduct. On violating the election code of conduct, action and punishment shall be taken in accordance with the Election Commission Act (2007).
Avoid invalidating your vote
Voting is your right, and every vote is equally valuable. As the local elections are coming up, there are a few things to understand. The Election Commission upholds certain criteria when it comes to counting the votes. So, if you want your vote to count, do make sure that you follow these guidelines and ensure that your vote is not nullified:
- Vote for your candidate in a clear manner. Don’t touch the lines around the box while using the stamp: right, left, up, or down. The stamp should be placed in the centre of the cell, without a slight touching in the lines.
- Don’t forget the stamp in all the sections of the ballot paper. There are seven sections in a single ballot paper for the upcoming local elections and you should do one stamp in each section.
- As you can only put one stamp per section, do remember the election symbols of the candidates of your choice. Otherwise, you will end up voting for some other candidates.