EC hints at early election results if hurdles removed

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Jan 17, 2018-

The Election Commission has hinted that results of the proportional representation category of the House of Representatives could be presented to the President “soon” if the parties and the government resolve the constitutional hurdles.

During a meeting with the representatives from the major political parties on Monday, Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav said that the EC would be ready to implement the decision if the hurdles were removed in consensus.

Since the federal parliament comprises the House of Representatives and the National Assembly, the government and the EC argue that the constitutionally 

guaranteed 33 percent representation of women in the parliament cannot be ensured without forming the Upper House first.

If the parties removed the hurdle through a presidential order that the constitutional requirement is no obstacle to announcing the poll results, the EC is said to be ready to present the results to the head of state.

Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Yagya Bahadur Thapa, however, said there had been no discussion in the Cabinet about removing the constitutional difficulties.

EC’s statement comes at a time when the left alliance has been pressing the poll authority to reveal the people’s verdict without putting it on hold further.

CPN (Maoist Centre) leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha and UML leader Subas Nembang expressed their surprise at the EC’s suggestion that came without consulting with the major parties including the left alliance. But Yadav moved on to reiterate that 

the constitutional and legal hurdles had barred the poll body from announcing the results.

“The EC hinted that it could reveal the results soon if the parties resolved the constitutional hurdles,” said Maoist leader Dev Prasad Gurung, who attended the meeting.

Nepali Congress representatives Ramesh Lekhak and Bal Krishna Khand did not comment on the matter. Khand told the meeting instead that the government was working to appoint provincial chiefs and to announce temporary provincial capitals soon.

The EC also sought the major parties’ support to pressing the government to appoint the provincial chiefs at the earliest. Without provincial chiefs, the EC has failed to present the PR results of the Provincial Assembly election. 

Yadav told the party leaders that the EC had already requested the government through informal and formal channels to appoint the provincial chiefs without further delay.

The EC also briefed the leaders on the single transferable voting (STV) system to be adopted for the National Assembly (NA) election but the leaders were confused over the ways votes are transferred from one candidate to another.

Since the STV is a complicated process, all the voters, candidates and officials need training, the leaders suggested. The leaders were informed that the regulations and directives on the NA polls would be finalised shortly.

Published: 17-01-2018 07:34

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