SAC to present 2 poll bills in House today

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 27, 2017-Out of three election bills that are with the State Affairs Committee of the Legislature-Parliament, two are set to be presented for endorsement on Friday.

On Wednesday, the House endorsed two election-related bills—the Bill to Amend and Integrate Laws Related to the Election Commission and the Bill Related to Voters’ List—in one step towards holding local level elections, the dates for which the government is planning to announce in a couple of days.

A subcommittee under SAC has already finalised the Bill on Election (Offence and Punishment) Act which will be approved by the subcommittee on Friday morning before presenting it in the House. The subcommittee is also close to reaching consensus on the Bill on Local Election Procedural Act, according to a lawmaker in the subcommittee. “A SAC meeting called for Friday morning will approve these two bills and present them in Parliament for approval,” said Rameshwor Phuyal, a SAC subcommittee member. 

The Bill on Election (Offence and Punishment) Act has proposed a jail term of three years and fine worth Rs 200,000 or both for those found guilty of using arms and setting off explosives. 

Anyone found misusing ballot papers will be liable to a jail term and fine, says the bill. Similarly, if a non-Nepali is found to have cast vote, s/he will be subjected to one-year in jail or fine up to Rs 100,000 or both. Those offering cash or kind to influence an election will also have to face a jail term and fine. Similarly, if any unauthorised person enters the vote counting area or one who indicates that s/he has voted in favour of a certain candidate/party, that person will be liable to a fine up to Rs 15,000, according to the bill. “It will take a day or two to finalise the bill related to political parties,” said Phuyal.

As per constitutional deadline, the country must hold three levels of elections by January 21, 2018 when the tenure of incumbent Parliament ends. 

The Election Commission has already said that local elections should be held by May to ensure other two 

levels of polls—provincial and federal—within a year. The EC has also said 

required laws must be in place by the end of this month to ensure the polls.


People with disabilities, elderly can take kin help to vote



A family member can accompany the elderly and people with disabilities to voting booths while casting their ballots, according a new provision in the Bill on Local Election Procedure Act that is being finalised by a subcommittee of the State Affairs Committee of Parliament. 

The earlier provision would allow only an election official to assist the elderly and people with disabilities while casting ballots. 

Ram Krishna Yadav, a lawmaker in the subcommittee, said the provision would allow voters to choose between a family member and an election officer while voting.  

Published: 27-01-2017 08:21

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