House endorses third poll-related bill

  • 5 laws must to hold local elections
  • 4 more needed for federal, provincial and prez votes
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 31, 2017-

The Legislature-Parliament on Monday endorsed the Bill on Election (Offence and Punishment), passing the third poll-related law in a week’s time.

The Bill to Amend and Integrate Laws Related to the Election Commission and Bill Related to Voter List have already been approved and are in the 

process of getting authenticated by the President.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi tabled the bill that was endorsed by a majority in Parliament. Earlier, the House meeting called for 1pm was adjourned after “zero and special hours” as Minister Nidhi was not available to table the bill. Speaker Onasari Gharti adjourned the business for an hour and asked the secretariat officials to call him. The meeting resumed after the home minister’s arrival.

The new law has set tough punishment of jail and fine for election-related offences. According to the law, one faces three-year jail and fine up to Rs200,000 or both if found guilty of using arms and setting off explosives aiming to disrupt the polls. Those offering cash or kind to influence an election also face two-year jail and Rs100,000 in fine or both.

Anyone found misusing the ballot paper will be liable to a jail term and fine. If a non-Nepali is found to have cast the vote, s/he will be subjected to one-year jail or fine up to Rs100,000 or both. If any unauthorised person enters the ballot 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 Rs15,000.

If any candidate is found to have spent more than the expenditure limit and received illegal donations, s/he can be disqualified to contest a vote or may even lose the elected office.

Five Acts have to be readied to hold the local polls while additional four laws are needed for the federal and provincial elections and to elect the President. As per constitutional deadline, the country must hold three levels of elections by January 21, 2018.

The Election Commission has made it clear that local elections should be held by May to ensure provincial and federal polls within a year.

Published: 31-01-2017 08:25

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