The Ilam election court has ordered a re-count of the ballots of Jhapa district constituency number four from 22 December. The decision was passed by the court headed by attorney Ramesh Jha following a petition by the losing candidate Yukta Bhetwal of UML, alleging foul play during the vote count in the last parliamentary elections. The decision has put the winner, Foreign Minister Chakra Prasad Bastola, in a very tricky position. The same court had ordered the re-counting on 6 August, which was halted after Bastola appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ultimately went with the decision of the election court and hence the re-count.
Bastola had won the election by a slender margin of 26 votes. Among the various reasons cited for the need for a re-count, Bhetwal has accused the counting process of hiding votes that were in his favour and counting disqualified votes in favour of his competitor. Preparations for the re-count are already underway.