Fringe parties unite against threshold

  • 77 proposals registered seeking amendments to bills on federal parliament and provincial assemblies
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 27, 2017-While major parties have registered amendments seeking to increase threshold for the representation in the federal parliament and provincial assemblies, fringe parties have stood against it, saying increasing threshold is against the spirit of multi-party democracy. 

As many as 42 and 35 proposals have been registered seeking amendments to bills related to federal parliament and provincial assemblies, respectively. The deadline for registering amendment proposals ended on Wednesday.

Around a dozen fringe parties have registered amendments seeking to scrap the threshold provisions. 

Lawmakers from the CPN-ML, Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party (NMKP), Rastriya Janamorcha and Nepal Pariwar Dal Nepal, among others have registered separate amendments seeking to remove the threshold provisions from the bills.

The government last week tabled the bills imposing a 1.5 to 3 percent threshold for the parties to be eligible for their representation in the House.

The Bill on Federal Parliament has a provision as per which any party failing to win at least one seat under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system and not securing a minimum three percent votes under proportional representation will not get proportional representation seats. Any party winning seats in the FPTP that fails to secure 3 percent votes will get representation in Parliament but only as independents. 

The threshold is 1.5 percent for the provincial assembly. “Major parties are trying to impose syndicate in the House. This is not acceptable,” said Dilli Prasad Kafle of the NMKP. “Only the general public has the authority to decide the fate of parties.”

Leaders from fringe parties have said they will stand together against the threshold provision even though they have registered amendments separately. The Rastriya Janamorcha, which is against federalism, has also registered an amendment putting forth a demand of not holding provincial elections.

If the second Constituent Assembly election results are anything to go by, only five political parties--Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, CPN (Maoist Centre), Nepal Loktantrik Forum and Rastriya Prajatantra Party--had crossed the threshold. Though the then Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N) had got more than three percent votes under proportional representation system, it had failed to win even a single seat under the FPTP.

On the other hand, lawmakers from the UML have demanded an increase in threshold to five percent, claiming that is necessary to “have an effective political system in the country”. 

 Over a dozen fringe parties had boycotted Parliament when the Bill  related to Political Parties, which too had imposed a three percent threshold and minimum of one seat under FPTP for a party to get the status of national party, was tabled. 

However, the bill was passed, as fringe parties did not have enough numbers to block it.

Published: 27-07-2017 07:08

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