Madhesi Dalits to move court

  • ‘faulty’ PR candidate lists
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 26, 2017-

Madhesi Dalit activists are preparing to register a writ petition in the Supreme Court on Tuesday demanding removal of a provision in the directives introduced by the Election Commission to elect candidates under the Proportional Representation category restricting selection of candidates from the lower order of the closed lists.

They argue that this provision would prevent election of candidates representing Madhesi Dalits whom most of the parties have positions low on their PR lists. According to Clause 34 (3) of the Directives on PR Elections to the House of Representatives and PR Elections to Provincial Assemblies, a party cannot choose candidates from the same community from the lower order without picking those higher on the lists for representation in the federal and state assemblies.

“Although we planned to register the writ on Sunday, we could not do so due to time constraint,” said Raskya Ram Harijan, a law student. A group of eight Madhesi Dalit activists is planning to file a writ. Since most of the parties have put Madhesi Dalit candidates in the lower order, their proportional representation in the House and state assemblies was not guaranteed, said Harijan. According Census 2011, the Dalit community comprises 13.22 percent of the total population.

Of the total population, Hill Dalits account for 8.12 percent while the Madhesi Dalits’ percentage is 4.5. The percentage of other Dalits is 0.6.

Election officials said that the provision was made to ensure that candidates prioritised by the parties before the elections would get a chance to be elected. “Amid concerns raised about the misuse of PR provisions from the party leadership in the past, we made the provision as part of electoral reforms,” said EC Spokesman Navaraj Dhakal.

In the two Constituent Assembly polls, the parties were criticised for electing candidates who allegedly gave  cash to the top leaders. On December 20, Madhesi Dalit activists submitted a memorandum to the EC, urging the poll body to ask the parties to ensure proportional representation of Madhesi Dalits while electing candidates

Published: 26-12-2017 07:30

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