Oli, Dahal urges EC to allocate PR seats soon

- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu

Dec 21, 2017-Top leaders of the Left Alliance have urged the Election Commission (EC) to elect candidates to the House of Representative on Proportional Representation (PR) quota at the earliest amid row over constitutional provision regarding election of the National Assembly.

During the meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav on Wednesday, CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and CPN (Moist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal called on the EC to complete the remaining task of the poll process by electing PR candidates without delay.

“The two leaders urged CEC Yadav to first elect candidates under PR category, submit the list of elected candidates to the President and publish it in Nepal Gazette as provisioned in the law,” a senior UML leader said. 

When asked about the meeting, CEC Yadav said he met with the two leaders as part of a consultation process to end the current deadlock regarding the election of the PR candidates. 

Yadav said that the commission would move ahead with the process of electing PR candidates on Thursday when Chief Election Officer for PR elections is expected to submit a report to the EC after allocating seats to the eligible parties. 

After allocation of seats, the EC would ask the parties obtaining the seats in the HoR and the Provincial Assemblies to send their list of candidates to be elected. 

The parties would then have to ensure at least 33 percent representation of women in the bicameral federal parliament, while submitting the list of candidates to be elected to the HoR as per the law. 

However, Yadav did not confirm whether the EC would elect the PR candidates to the HoR before the ongoing dispute is settled. “We are still in the consultation process on the issue,” Yadav told the Post.  

Article 84 (8) of the constitution states 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.

The ruling Nepali Congress (NC) has been arguing on the need for first having the National Assembly. But the Left Alliance is in favour of electing PR candidates to the HoR immediately which would open the door for new government formation.

The NC maintains that as the constitution has already ensured 37 percent representation of women in the National Assembly, ensuring 33 percent representation of women in the HoR through PR would meet the constitutional requirement regarding their strength in the Federal Parliament.

While there is a dispute over electing PR candidates to the HoR, there is no legal complication on electing the PR candidates for the Provincial Assemblies, say EC officials. 

“We hope that our secretariat will submit the report by allocating seats to the parties for Provincial Assemblies on Thursday.  We may make public the seat allocation by Friday,” said Election Commissioner Ila Sharma. She, however, said that the EC has not made any concrete decision regarding electing the PR candidates to the HoR amid dispute over the constitutional provision.

 

End stand-off through talks: Prez

KATHMANDU: President Bidya Devi Bhandari has advised top leaders of the Left Alliance to resolve the stand-off over ordinance related to election of the National Assembly (NA) through a political consensus. 

The President met with CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal at Sheetal Niwas on Wednesday. 

“I cannot alter the constitutional and legal ways, so resolve the issue through discussion,” President’s aide Bhesraj Adhikari quoted her as telling the leaders at the meeting. 

The meeting comes at a time when the Left Alliance, who secured a majority vote in the recently held Federal Parliament and Provincial elections, and the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) are at loggerheads over the ordinance pertaining to the elections of the Upper House. 

Recalling the trend of resolving disputes through political dialogue in the past, the President suggested that the political parties, who fought together for democracy, should resolve the issue through discussion. President Bhandari indicated that it would not be good for the constitutional institutions to get into controversy over authentication of the ordinance. 

While congratulating us, the President asked us not to deviate from the constitutional duties while resolving the disputes, said senior CPN (Maoist Centre) leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha, who along with UML leader Subas Chandra Nembang had accompanied Dahal and Oli in the meeting. 

According to Shrestha, the Left Alliance will first wait for a response from the government whether it will take the lead to resolve the dispute. “If the government does not take initiative to resolve the differences, the Left Alliance which has a majority in Parliament will call a meeting of the major political parties to end the dispute,” he said. (PR) 

Published: 21-12-2017 07:56

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