Nominations over for Phase I polls

  • Leaders: Successful candidacy filing augurs well for elections crucial for implementing the new constitution
- KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI, Kathmandu

Oct 23, 2017-The process for federal and provincial parliamentary elections started on Sunday with nominations filed in 32 districts under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) category. In a key step towards implementing the constitution promulgated two years ago, the two layers of elections are taking place simultaneously on November 26 and December 7.

On Sunday, political parties filed nominations for 37 constituencies of the federal parliament and 74 constituencies of provincial parliaments. The Election Commission said candidacy registration that began at 10am concluded at 5pm. In some constituencies, candidacy registration continued till late in the evening. Candidates in queue were allowed to register their names beyond 5pm, EC said.

According to the election authority, more than 260 candidates from the leftist and ‘democratic’ alliances, fringe parties and independent aspirants have been filed. “Nomination filing went peaceful with encouraging participation of political parties,” Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav told a press meet on Sunday evening, adding that the exact number of candidates was yet to be ascertained. The process of forming sovereign federal and provincial parliaments has begun, Yadav remarked.

The nominations show that the major competition in the first round will be between the two alliances. The number of fringe and independent candidates is minimal. Political leaders commented that the nomination filing has laid a “solid foundation” for holding the elections on schedule, eliminating fears of their postponement.

CPN-UML leader Pradeep Gyawali said Sunday’s process was a step towards holding the two major polls. “However, we should remain cautious as some forces are still trying to derail the election process,” he told the Post. Nepali Congress leader Bimalendra Nidhi said, “As a ruling party, the NC is fully committed to holding the elections on schedule, as the filing of nominations has proved.”

Political analyst Puranjan Acharya said there remains no confusion about the elections. “People are formally endorsing the federal and republican system through this election,” he said.

The total number of voters in 32 districts is 3,228,879 for the first phase of elections. According to the EC, there are 4,465 polling centres and 2,946 polling stations.

According to the EC, the final list of candidates will be published on Wednesday, with the contestants getting the election symbols on the same day. Printing of ballot papers for the direct polls will follow.

A politician was allowed to register candidacy in only one constituency. The number of female candidates is very low in the FPTP category both in the federal and provincial parliaments. There are only seven women candidates from the leftist and ‘democratic’ alliances.

This is the first parliamentary vote since 1999, when the NC got a simple majority. Two Constituent Assembly polls were held in 2008 and 2013. In 2015, the second CA was converted into the Legislature-Parliament, which completed its tenure on October 14.

Published: 23-10-2017 07:31

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