National

Bill on the Election of National Assembly members registered

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu
The bill has proposed the first-past-the-post Bloc Voting Electoral System—similar to the one adopted for the local level elections—to elect members of the National Assembly

Sep 14, 2017-The government on Wednesday registered a bill related to the Election of the Members of National Assembly in the Parliament Secretariat, specifying the weightage of votes of members of Provincial Assemblies and the chair and vice-chair of the local bodies who are the voter on the election.

An electoral college of the members of the Provincial Assemblies and the chair and vice-chair of the local bodies with vote weightage of 48 and 18 respectively will elect 56 members of the Upper House. Three members of the 59-member strong National Assembly, including a woman, will be nominated by the President on the recommendation of the government. 

According to Article 86 of the constitution, an electoral college comprised of members of the provincial assemblies, chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of Village Councils, and mayors and deputy mayors of municipalities should elect 56 Assembly members. There will be 550 voters from provincial assemblies in addition to 1,488 from the local units. 

The Madhesi-centric parties were against allowing the chair and vice-chair to vote for the National Assembly members. In line with their demand, the government had registered the Constitution Amendment Bill in Parliament seeking to amend Article 86(2) (a) to separate the chief and deputy chief of municipalities and rural municipalities from the Electoral College. The agenda fell through, with Parliament rejecting the amendment in August.

The draft bill, formulated on the basis of Article 86 of the statute, says that eight members will be elected from each of the seven provinces. Among the eight members, three must be women; two from the Dalit community and the people with disability and the remaining three will come through an open competition. 

The bill has proposed the first-past-the-post Bloc Voting Electoral system—similar to the one adopted for the local level elections—to elect members of the National Assembly. Under this system, there will be a direct election of National Assembly members but a separate bloc will be created for candidates coming from women, Dalit, disabled and minority communities to ensure election of candidates from these communities. 

“The assembly will have a six-year term,” reads the bill which authorises the government to announce the election date. The Legislature-Parliament, whose term expires on October 21, is likely to endorse the bill within a month.

Published: 14-09-2017 08:55

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