A Brief Background of Province 4Geography and Area: Gandaki Province lies in the western part of the country. It is bordered by the Trishuli River, Budhi Gandaki River, and Bagmati Province in the east, Lumbini Province in the west, China in the north, and Lumbini Province and Uttar Pradesh of India in the south. It lies between 82052’45” & 85012’01” east longitude and 27026’15” & 29012’01” North latitude. It has an area of 21914.97sq.km and which is 14.75% of the total area of the country. 38.01% of provincial land is covered by forest. (MoF; Economic Survey 2076/77) 17.8% of the land is arable and 24.7% of the Province’s land is covered by snow, and 0.4% of the land is covered by water.
The population of the Gandaki Province is 2,403,757. Out of the total population, 60.11% of the provincial population is residing in the urban area. There are 88 ethnic groups in the province. The major ethnic groups are Brahman Hill (21.6%), Magar (18.9%), Chhetri (13.4%), Gurung (11.4%), Kami (8.7%), Newar (4.1%), etc. Among the 47 spoken languages in the province, 73.5% speak Nepali, 9.9% speak Magar and 8.8% speak Gurung. As per Economic Survey (2019/20), Gandaki Province contributes 9% to the national GDP. It is estimated to have a growth rate of 2.7% in the fiscal year 2019/20. There are 512 commercial banks, 220 development banks, 29 finance companies, and 518 Microfinance companies. Similarly, there are 182 life and 154 non-life insurance companies and their branches in the province.
(Source: Nepal Outlook, Gandaki Province: A Data Overview)
Report by: Gyan Kumar Chantyal
Observer: Gyan Kumar Chantyal
Place of posting: Baglung, Province- 4, Kathekhola Village Municipality, Polling Center A and B
Observer Report by Gyan Kumar Chantyal: On the 20th of November 2022, the House of Representatives and Provincial Assembly member elections were completed in a peaceful manner at Baglung, Province- 4, Kathekhola Village Municipality, Polling Center A and B.
Number of Voters: The number of Polling Papers in Center A was 920 while the number of Polling Papers in Center B was listed at 940.
Appointed Personnel for each voting booth: There were 20 Male Government Officials and 10 Women Government Officials at the Polling Centers. There were also 10 Male Government representatives and 10 Women Government Representatives to ensure a safe and convenient voting environment.
Security and safety for voting systematically: There were 13 Men Security personnel and 2 Women Security personnel within the voting center. The presence of Women Government Officials, Representatives, and Women Security Personnel assured to make women felt safer and more convenient within the Polling Center.
There was a seating arrangement for Elderly voters, including a separate Polling Booth for People with Disabilities. The Polling Center also assured that Women had a separate Washroom area as long as a Polling Line designated only for women voters. People who were not literate were allowed to bring assistance to cast their votes. There was also the availability of Health Officers and an Ambulance for the Voters in the center in case of emergency. There were no cases of violence or discrimination of any kind against Indigenous women in the Polling Center.
Code of Conduct and Systemization for Safe Voting: Voters were allowed to cast their polls until 5:00 PM. The voting proceeded safely in an undisturbed manner in both Polling Centers. The closing-time warning was duly announced and all Government Officials and Volunteers including Observers were allowed to watch the process of the Ballot boxes being collected and transported safely to the Counting Center.