Nefin for ensuring proportional representation in all elections

- Post Report, Kathmandu
After consulting with indigenous lawmakers from several parties, Nefin drafts amendment proposals to the election bills

Jul 28, 2017-The Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities has started lobbying for proportional inclusion in the upcoming federal and provincial polls, registering separate amendment proposals to the bills related to federal and provincial polls.

After holding a consultation meeting with indigenous lawmakers from several parties here on Wednesday, Nefin drafted its proposal to amend the bills, which was registered in the Parliament Secretariat by NC lawmaker and former federation chairman Nagendra Kumal.

Since there is no indigenous caucus, Nefin has been taking the lead for uniting lawmakers from different parties to fight for their cause.

Lawmaker Kumal said the amendment paper proposes that the parties ensure proportional representation of all the groups including indigenous nationalities, indigenous minorities, women, Dalits, Madhesis, Tharus and Muslims in the first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system.

In the proportional representation (PR) system, the parties should ensure representation of every community including indigenous nationalities, Dalits, Madhesis, Muslims, Tharus and Khas Arya on the basis of their population.

Besides, lawmaker Kumal has also proposed amendment to the provision of minorities in the bill that treats many indigenous nationalities as minorities, suggesting the phrase ‘indigenous nationalities minorities’ for clarity.

Nefin vehemently opposes the government’s April 24 decision to declare many indigenous communities as minority groups.

The government published a notice on the Nepal Gazette declaring 98 communities with population below 0.5 percent (according to Census 2011) as minority groups. According to Nefin, 38 indigenous communities have been listed as minorities.

“Though the Nepal Gazette clearly states that the provision of minorities would be used only for the local level elections, the new bill related to the federal and provincial polls also has the list. We want correction to it,” said Nefin Chairman Jagat Baram.

There are 59 listed indigenous nationalities in the country in five categories--endangered, highly marginalised, marginalised, disadvantaged and advanced.

Baram said Nefin would lobby for preparing another draft of the bill to address the concerns of the indigenous nationalities, among others.

Lawmakers have also demanded ‘proportional representation’ in the appointment of election and polling officers.

Published: 28-07-2017 07:48

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