Delay in naming guvs may affect NA election: EC

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu
Election Commission Spokesperson Ghimire says voter lists cannot be published on Sunday if the government does not appoint provincial chiefs by Wednesday

Jan 16, 2018-With the government delaying crucial decisions, the Election Commission has said it might need to reschedule the National Assembly polls if the provincial chiefs are not appointed within “a couple of days”.

The EC, which is preparing for the Upper House election scheduled for February 7, plans to publish the voter list on Sunday. Members of the provincial assemblies are among the voters. However, they cannot vote before taking the oath of office from the governor.

The governors also convene the provincial assemblies. “How can we publish voter lists on Sunday if the governors are not appointed tomorrow or the day after [Tuesday or Wednesday]?” 

EC Spokesperson Dinesh Ghimire asked. 

“We might need to reschedule the election process in such a situation.”

According to the procedure, the governors are appointed first. Second, they assume office. Third, they administer the oath to the newly elected provincial assembly members. The EC has to submit the list of provincial assembly members to the respective governor within seven days of the results being declared.

A total of 2,056 voters—550 provincial assembly members and 1,506 chiefs and deputy chiefs of the local level—will elect 56 members in the 59-strong Upper House. 

The remaining three are appointed by the President on the government’s recommendation.

Members of provincial assemblies have a higher weightage of votes than chiefs of local governments. A vote by a provincial assembly member will have the value of 48 while that by a voter from the local level weighs 18.

The EC has already written to the government explaining the fix. 

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Sunday said the appointment of governors and naming of temporary provincial capitals would be done in three days.

A total of 21 political parties have been registered for the National Assembly vote.

Published: 16-01-2018 07:56

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