Governing RPP announces fresh protests against EC

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 15, 2017-The ruling Rastriya Prajatantra Party has announced protests against the Election Commission demanding revision of its decision to remove from the RPP charter the agendas of “constitutional monarchy” and “Hindu state”, raising fears that the agitation could embolden the forces that are against the local elections.

The fourth largest party in Parliament has seriously objected to the EC’s move to eliminate the goals claiming that it contradicts the constitutional provision of ideological freedom. The Election Commission on March 17 removed some sections from the RPP statute reasoning that they contradicted constitutional provisions of republican order and secularism.

The party has decided to burn the copies of the EC’s decision and demonstrate in all the 744 local units on Tuesday and to organise protests in all the districts on April 21. It has also decided to picket the District Election Offices and protest before the EC central office in Kathmandu on the same day.

Around a dozen party cadres including former chairman Pashupati Shumsher Rana were injured in a clash with police at Jamal, Kathmandu, on March 20 during a rally against the EC. Deputy Prime Minister and RPP Chairman Kamal Thapa was present at the site after the clash.

The party calls the commission’s decision “biased” against the RPP though some other party statutes also go against constitutional provisions. Some of the communist parties aim for communism and egalitarianism, which are not accepted by the charter.

Election officials, however, defend their decision arguing that the united RPP had applied for party registration under the new constitution. “The other parties were registered before the new constitution was promulgated. If they come for fresh registration, like the RPP, we will definitely check their clauses,” said a senior official at the EC.

According to Bhuwan Pathak, spokesperson for the party, the RPP is in consultation with legal experts for challenging the decision in court.

Asked if their protests would support the forces that are standing against the election, Pathak said they were not shying away from the polls. He claimed that the protests and preparation for the elections will go hand in hand.

“The RPP will participate in the polls even if our demand is not addressed,” he told the Post. The party would decide its candidates for the local federal units within a week and launch the election campaign from western districts on Saturday.

Published: 15-04-2017 08:23

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