Last June, the Election Commission requested the government to provide electronic voting machines by mid-July for the upcoming elections. But there was no response to that, said Dinesh Thapliya, the commission’s chief commissioner.
Even when the study report on the use of electronic voting machines has been submitted to the government, there is no response from the government. Chief Commissioner Thapliya sarcastically said that even though the commission had ‘requested’ for electronic voting, there was ‘hatred’ in it.
“There has been no response from the government on that matter.
Thapliya said that if electronic voting machines are to be used in elections, then it should be included in the law that “Electronic Voting System will be adopted in the upcoming elections to be conducted by the Election Commission”. He said that in such a situation, electronic voting would be mandatory.
“On non-binding matters, you have to ask everyone to reach an agreement,” he said in conversation with Tekpana, “but it is not possible to bring everyone to an agreement.”
But on the other hand, it has been a decade since Ramalakshman Innovations developed the Electronic Voting Machine in the country. During this period, the company has used voting machines in more than 100 elections, including various political parties and organizations.
There was a lot of discussion about the use of electronic voting machines in the local elections held last May. But the government did not use electronic voting machines due to lack of preparation.
Even before this, there were many debates regarding the use of voting machines, but no concrete steps were taken. The company’s co-founder Ram Rimal, while addressing a press conference in the capital on Tuesday, regretted that the government could not give priority to indigenous products.
“Sometimes the Election Commission and the government, which are ready to buy machines worth billions of rupees from abroad, why don’t they show readiness to use machines produced in their own home (country)?” If this machine is successfully used in Nepal, there is a high chance that it may be sold in other countries under the name Nepal.”
He narrated the bitter experience of demonstrating the company’s voting machine and informing the concerned bodies about the machine, but he would only praise it, but would back down while implementing it.
He said, “Either the fault in the machine had to be shown, otherwise it had to be done by taking samples. No royalties.”
A legal system in which electronic voting devices can be used in presidential, deputy speaker, federal parliament member, provincial assembly member and local level member elections that are in accordance with the constitution and federal law. The Commission’s Chief Commissioner Thapliya is of the opinion that electronic voting machines cannot be used in elections due to provisions like ‘can be done’ or ‘must be consulted’.
In addition, in the 2006 Constituent Assembly elections, the commission used electronic voting devices in six constituencies. In the Constituent Assembly by-elections of 2071, electronic voting machines were successfully used in five constituencies including Bardia, Baglung, Kathmandu and Kailali.