Fewer parties contesting elections under PR system

  • Compared to 122 ahead of CA polls, only 49 parties in fray

Oct 17, 2017-

Fewer parties have submitted the closed list of candidates for the federal elections under the proportional representation (PR) system compared to the number of participants in the last Constituent Assembly elections held in 2013.

According to the EC, 49 parties submitted their PR list on Sunday, which is nearly a third of the parties that participated in the CA elections 2013. As many as 122 parties participated in the last CA elections under the PR system.

EC officials said that the smaller parties were discouraged to give candidacy due to provision of threshold in the law that allows representation in the House of Representatives only if a party secures votes more than set threshold.

As many as 39 parties, who were registered with the EC for the upcoming federal and provincial elections, failed to submit the closed list of candidates for federal elections as the deadline expired at 5pm on Sunday.

“The provision of threshold in the law led to the fewer parties confirming their participation in the federal polls,” said Election Commissioner Ila Sharma.

The parties securing less than 3 percent of total votes in the PR elections will not have their votes counted for representation in the federal parliament, according to the Act on Election of House of Representatives.

Likewise, those garnering less than 1.5 percent PR votes will not be represented in the provincial assemblies, according to Act on the Elections of Provincial Assembly.

Under the Act related to Political Parties, a party should secure at least 3 percent of the total votes cast under PR system and win at least one seat under the First Past the Post (FPTP) system to be recognised as a national party.

Much to the chagrin of the fringe parties, the major parties agreed to insert the provision of threshold in the law. With no restriction in place, 30 political parties were represented in the CA under the PR system in 2013, but the provision is expected to reduce the number of parties under the PR system.

Political analyst Lokraj Baral, said: “The new electoral system makes it difficult for any party to secure an absolute majority. This means the country will struggle to find a stable government.”

Published: 17-10-2017 08:15

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