Sub-committee(s) to finalise election laws

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Three election related bills have been languishing at the State Affairs Committee of Parliament for more than two months

Dec 22, 2016-The Parliamentary State Affairs Committee is preparing to form sub-committee(s) under it to finalise three election-related bills.

A committee meeting has been scheduled for Thursday.

Bill to Amend and Integrate Laws related to the Election Commission, Bill Related to Voters’ List and Bill to Amend and Integrate Laws Related to Political Parties have been languishing at the State Affairs Committee for more than two months. 

Over the period, only three meetings of the parliamentary committee have taken place. 

“Thursday’s meeting will form one sub-committee or more to find consensus among political parties on the bills,” said Bharat Raj Gautam, spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat. 

Lawmakers are divided over threshold, state funding for political parties, strengthening the Election Commission (EC), allowing the EC to fix election date and number of signatures from supporters to register a political party. 

Although they have agreed on settling these issues by forming a sub-committee, they are divided whether to form one sub-committee or three separate committees to look into three bills.

Once the sub-committee(s) present/s the report by generating consensus among the lawmakers, the parliamentary committee should endorse 

the report and submit it to the full House. 

Two more poll-related bills--Local Election Procedure Act and Election (Offence and Punishment) Act were registered at the Parliament Secretariat last week.

“Due to House obstruction, the bills have failed to move forward,” said Gatuam. 

The EC has already warned that local level elections must be held by the end of April to have any chance of holding other two elections before January 21, 2018 as the constitutional deadline. 

The EC says it will take at least 120 days for necessary preparations for holding local elections after the dates are announced. But to announce the dates for elections, laws must be in place. 

Published: 22-12-2016 07:48

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