Nepal marked its annual Election Day celebration on 19 February 2020 at the premises of the Election Commission with the participation of current and former heads and representatives from the government, political parties, the diplomatic community, private and public sector institutions, development partners, academia and the media. The day was an opportunity to celebrate elections as a foundation of democracy, and to renew commitments to reinvigorating democracy to respond to the changing context.
The event saw the Right Honourable President Ms. Bidhya Devi Bhandari launch the Election Commission’s Third Strategic Plan (2019–2023), the Electoral Justice Resource Book and a collection of election-related articles published as the Electoral Journal.
The Right Honourable Prime Minister Mr. KP Sharma Oli also addressed the event. He underscored elections as a core pillar for democracy and commended the Commission for completing the elections credibly. Moreover, he encouraged the Election Commission to lead discussions on electoral reform to improve future elections in order to adapt to the changing times. He also offered his best wishes to the Election Commission and to all Nepali citizens on this occasion.
The Chief Election Commissioner Honourable Mr. Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya seized the occasion to present his best wishes to all voters. He stated that the Commission will work to strengthen the institution, reform electoral management and deploy technology for elections, reform electoral law, manage political parties as well as impart civic and voter education through collaboration. These, he mentioned, form the strategic pillars that will guide the Election Commission for the next five years as per the Third Strategic Plan of the Commission.
The day before, the Commission had launched a set of 17 booklets on civic and voter education as well as an educational film entitled Ek Vote (One Vote). The Commission explained that these were for taking civic and voter education to the grassroots, stressing the importance of exercising the right to vote, and attracting more youth towards this process. The Commission expressed sincere thanks to UNDP Electoral Support Project for providing support in preparing the booklet and in the production of the short film.
This was the fourth time that Nepal marked Election Day. In the lead-up to the main day, the Commission also organised various side-activities including a blood donation programme, tree planting, and the distribution of prizes to Election Commission employees in recognition of their service.