Province 7 assigned NIWF Observers from the 2022 Nepalese General Election share their experience

A Brief Background on Province 7: Geographically, the province of Sudur Paschim is located between latitudes 800 03′ and 81025′ east and latitude 28022′. Its area is 15,539 sq\. Kilometers. Mountains make up 34.54 percent of the land, and Terai, or plain lands, make up 24.86 percent of the provincial land. India forms its western and southern borders, followed by China and the Humla district of Karnali Province in the north, Surkhet, Dailekh, Kalikot, and Mugu in Karnali Province, and Bardiya in Lumbini Province in the east. 

The province is topographically divided into four main areas: the high Himalayan, Mahabharat, the middle mountains, and the plains of Teria in the south. The province’s highest peak is Api Himal (7132 m). The Kailali district also has the lowest elevation, which is 109 meters. There are two districts in the Terai region: Kanchanpur and Kailali. Four mountain districts are Doti, Dadeldhura, Baitadi, and Achham. Of the many languages that are spoken in the province, Doteli is the mother tongue of 30% of the people. The population as a whole speaks 30% Nepali, 17% Tharu, 11% Baitedeli, 6% Achhami, and 3% Bajhangi as their mother tongue. Chhetri (41.4% of the population) make up the majority of the Province’s ethnic groups. Similarly, there are 17.3 percent Tharu, 13% Brahmin Hills, 8.3% Kami, 4.4% Thakuri, 4.2% Dalit, 2.6% Dalit, and 2.2% percent Magar. According to the Economic Survey (2020–21), Sudan Paschim Province will grow at an estimated 3–56% annual rate in the fiscal year 2020–21, contributing 6–9% of the country’s GDP. 

The Province accounts for 7.2 percent of all banking and commercial institutions in the nation with 315 commercial banks, 45 development banks, 6 finance companies, 389 microfinance companies, and 29,886 cooperatives. The province is home to 59 non-life insurance companies and 220 life insurance companies, as well as their branches.

(Source: Nepal Outlook)

Security Personnel photographed within the Polling Center

Report by: Manoj Pun Magar

Observer: Manoj Pun Magar

Place of Posting: Phoolbari, Sudurpaschim, Shree Chadura Higher Secondary School

Observer Report by Manoj Pun Magar on the 20th of November 2022, the House of Representatives and Provincial Assembly member elections were completed in a peaceful manner at Phoolbari, Sudurpaschim, Shree Chadura Higher Secondary School.

Appointed Personnel for each voting booth: There were 5 Male Government Polling Officers and 3 Women Government Polling Officers. Equally, there were 5 Male Government-appointed representatives and 3 Women Government- appointed representatives. The polling began at 7:30 AM after an official announcement was made within the center. No one who was not in possession of a voting card was allowed within the center. 

Security and safety for voting systematically: For people incapable of voting on their own, the representative help cast a vote on their desired candidates. There were no suspicious activities or incidents reported within and around the Polling Centers.  There were 1092 Polling Papers recorded and brought into the Polling Center. In total, there were 8 Polling booths within the Center. There were 3 Women Security personnel and 11 Male Security personnel within the center. 

Code of Conduct and Systemization for Safe Voting: The voting duly concluded at 7 PM. The Observers were granted entry with ease once their roles and identification were provided.  The Polling center was accommodating toward elderly voters and pregnant women.

Report by: Raju Pun Magar

Observer: Raju Pun Magar 

Place of Posting: Bhajani Municipality, Pathmuriya, Sudurpaschim-7

Observer Report by Raju Pun Magar on the 20th of November 2022, the House of Representatives and Provincial Assembly member elections were completed in a peaceful manner at Bhajani Municipality, Pathmuriya, Sudurpaschim-7

Appointed Personnel for each voting booth: There was a total of 17 Male Polling Officers and 1 Female Polling Officer present. There were also 6 Male Government Appointed Representatives and 4 Women Government Appointed Representatives. There was a record of 1702 Polling papers recorded in the specific Polling Center. It was strictly forbidden to cast a poll without a Voters card. 

Security and safety for voting systematically: There was a total of 1159 people who cast a poll that day. There was a total of 8 Polling Booths placed within the Polling Center. There were 12 Male Security Personnel and 2 Women Security Personnel. There were no incidents of violence against women or any form of violence at least within the Observer’s knowledge, recorded within and around the Polling Center.

Code of Conduct and Systemization for Safe Voting: The Chief Officer was Min Dutta Bhandari. While the voting began at 6:15 AM, it ended in a peaceful way at 7:00 PM. 

Note from NIWF’s Media and Communications Officer and Intern in charge of handling data,

Ms. Reya Shreya Rai shares her experience of working closely while staying in touch with many of the Observers from all seven provinces, though the majority reported not experiencing any issues working as an EO, it is important to document the incidents of discrimination and fraudulent activities as it will help to avoid similar concerns in the future elections.

“Nearly all of the observers said they had a positive experience. They had the opportunity to carefully examine one of the most crucial democratic processes—election administration—throughout their role. They had the opportunity to establish their presence in their own territory and to play an important role in the state’s mechanisms alongside non-indigenous people. Additionally, as voters, they could see how strong or fragile the presence of indigenous people was in their community. Some of them have complained about subtle, unwelcome facial expressions made by staff members, which, despite appearing avoidable and indirect, signify prejudice and stereotypes held by non-indigenous people in positions of authority.” as quoted by Ms. Sabnam Lama.

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