EC: Allocation of PR vote seats could take time

  • upper house formation row
- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu
If any party ensures at least 33 percent women in the lower house through proportional representation, it will not hamper the share of women in the upper house. The constitution guarantees at least 22 women members in the 59-member Assembly

Dec 17, 2017-Electing members of the House of Representatives on Proportional Representation quota is likely to take time as the Election Commission is in favour of selecting the candidates only after formation of the National Assembly.

EC officials said they would not be able to elect candidates under the PR category in the House until the upper house is elected due to constitutional and legal requirements.

Article 84 (8) of the constitution says each party should ensure at least 33 percent women in the bicameral federal parliament.

Clause 60 (4) of Act on Election of House of Representatives (HoR), states: Once the EC determines the number of seats that each party will obtain, it has to inform the concerned political parties about the number of seats each of them is obtaining, also informing them about the number of women they will have to pick to elect to the HoR to ensure that the concerned party will have at least 33 percent representation in the two houses combined.

Confusion plagues election of the National Assembly as the major parties are divided over the poll modality to be specified in the law governing the vote.

The Nepali Congress is in favour of adopting the single transferable vote (STV) system while the left alliance of the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre), which has registered an impressive victory in the federal parliamentary and provincial assembly elections, are making a pitch for following a majority system. 

“In the absence of the National Assembly, we cannot tell the parties how many women they should elect to the HoR,” said Election Commissioner Ishwori Paudel.

However, if any party ensures at least 33 percent women in the lower house through proportional representation, it will not hamper the share of women in the upper house. The constitution guarantees at least 22 women members, 37.28 percent in the 59-member Assembly.

Paudel admitted that the two houses combined will have 33 percent women if the parties elect one-third women in the lower house. “Constitutional and legal provisions don’t permit us to elect PR candidates without the NA coming into existence,” he said.

Chief Election Com-missioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav, who has been airing similar views, did not comment specifically on the matter. When the Post contacted him, he only referred to a provision in an Act governing the election. The EC has almost completed the counting of votes under the PR category.

The left alliance of the UML and the Maoists has been pressing Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to pave the way for formation of a new government.

Published: 17-12-2017 07:37

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