RJP objects to same ballot paper for two polls

  • But Election Commission clarifies ballot papers cannot be changed
- Post Report, Kathmandu
We have requested Acting Chief Election Commissioner Ila Sharma to print four different ballot papers instead of two Rajkishor Yadav

Sep 25, 2017-The Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal registered its serious objection at the Election Office on Sunday over the use of the same ballot paper for the upcoming federal and provincial polls.

Fearing that the joint ballot paper could create confusion among the voters especially for the regional parties, the RJP-N has seriously objected to the EC’s decision, warning of rejecting the provision unless the EC prints four different ballots.

The symbols for the election to the House of Representatives will be placed on the upper part of the ballot while those for the provincial assembly polls will be on the bottom half, according to election officials.

Two sets of ballot papers--one for the first-past-the-post system and the other for proportional election--will be used in the scheduled elections.

The design of the ballot papers under the FPTP system will be finalised only after the EC distributes symbols to the candidates on October 25.

“We have requested Acting Chief Election Commissioner Ila Sharma to print four different ballot papers instead of two,” said Rajkishor Yadav, a member of the seven-member RJP-N presidium.

The leaders have demanded separate ballot papers for the two different polls arguing that it would create confusion among illiterate voters especially in the plains.

However, Election Commissioner Narendra Dahal said the poll body has already decided to have only two ballot papers and that cannot be changed now.

RJP-N coordinator Mahantha Thakur said his party would present the demand to the government as the EC said there would be problems in printing four different kinds of ballot papers.

The EC has finalised the design of ballot papers to be used in the federal and provincial elections under the proportional representation system.

Both the elections will be held together in two phases on November 26 and December 7.

Citing similar reasons, RJP-N leader Sarbendra Nath Shukla on Friday filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court demanding an order to manage separate ballot papers for provincial and federal polls.

Advocate Dipendra Jha said Shukla has argued that the joint ballot paper would create confusion and violate secrecy of one election while counting votes for the other.

Meanwhile, the RJP-N has agreed to use “umbrella” as its election symbol in the upcoming polls as the EC refused to provide “bicycle” that was used during the third phase of local level polls in Province 2.

The Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal, Naya Shakti Nepal and the Nepal Loktantrik Forum have also objected to the EC’s plan to have only two ballot papers for the two elections.

The SSF-N and the Naya Shakti would come up with further plans on the EC’s decision based on consultations with only three major parties. 

“Our party’s meeting scheduled for Monday will come up with a concrete decision,” said SSF-N leader Ashok Rai.

Naya Shakti leader Ganga Shrestha said the party would decide its official position on the matter on Monday.

Published: 25-09-2017 08:27

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