Local level election bill endorsed

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Two of the four bills passed by Parliament have been authenticated by President Bidya Devi Bhandari

Feb 3, 2017-The Legislature-Parliament on Thursday endorsed the Local Level Election Bill, clearing the way for the government to announce the dates for the local polls.

This is the fourth law related to the polls that Parliament has passed recently. The bill authorises the government to announce the poll date in the consultation with the Election Commission. The new law has cleared the confusion whether the EC will hold the local level or local body elections. Of the three bills endorsed by Parliament earlier, two of them were authenticated by President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Thursday.

However, if the government decides to conduct elections for the old structure of the local bodies citing difficulties in implementing the report of the Local Level Restructuring Committee, the government has to pass new legislation, the draft of which is ready with the Home Ministry.

“The government can announce the local level polls once President Bhandari authenticates the bill,” said Rewati Raman Bhandari, a UML lawmaker. The Political Parties Act is also required for conducting the elections. The bill on parties is being discussed at the State Affairs Committee of Parliament.

In a new provision, the Local Level Election Bill ensures that the elections are held before the tenures of the local bodies expire. 

To end long gaps between the polls, elections to local councils are held two months prior to the expiry of their tenure.

The law will also increase the representation of women, Dalits and other backward groups in the local bodies. The parties will have to field at least 50 percent women candidates while the chair or the vice-chair candidate in village and municipal councils and district committees has to be female.

Four seats have been reserved for women--two for women from Dalit or 

marginalised communities--in the village councils. The number has been increased to five for women and three for Dalits or those from marginalised communities in the municipal council.

Published: 03-02-2017 08:25

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