Major Nepali and English newspapers published in Kathmandu on Tuesday have given space to the Election Commission’s announcement that filing of nominations for the first round of federal and provincial elections will take place on October 22. Some of the front pages have also given space to the commission’s objection towards Deuba’s move to expand his Cabinet just ahead of elections.
Election Commission announces timetable for polls
The Election Commission has finally announced its timetable for the first round of federal and provincial elections. The announcement had been delayed after political parties wanted the commission to first register the candidates for the first-past-the-post system and then the proportional system (Nepal has a mixed electoral system). The Himalayan Times says that under the FPTP system, candidates will have to file their nomination papers on October 22. Similarly, political parties will have to submit their list of candidates for the PR vote on October 15. However, if any correction to the list is to be made, parties can do so from October 23-29. The Kathmandu Post says parties will have to submit the closed list of candidates for proportional system a week before the nominations for the first phase of the FPTP elections.
Observers say that the commission reached a compromise with the parties as it is allowing them to add or remove names to the list after nominations for the FPTP polls are filed. This way the parties can ‘manage’ its leaders–field dissident candidates, who ‘feel bad’ for not being nominated for the FPTP polls, under the PR system.
EC: Cabinet expansion against code
The Election Commission has objected to the expansion of the Cabinet just a few days before the third round of local level elections. Republica says the election code mentions that after polls are announced, the government should not decide on matters that will add financial burden to the state. Nepal Samacharpatra and Kantipur have also given space to the news on its front page.
Deuba’s expansion spree to cost state coffers over Rs 14m
The Kathmandu Post says the 54-member ‘jumbo’ Cabinet of the Prime Minister and its entourage will draw over Rs 14 million a month from the state coffers in perks. The Post says a minister is entitled to Rs 60,790 is salary and Rs 50,000 as house rent allowance if he is not living in the ministers’ quarters. Each state minister Rs 57,780 as monthly salary and a house rent allowance of Rs 40,000. Although the constitution says that the country shall not have more than 25 minister, Prime Ministers who came to power after the promulgation of the constitution have failed to follow the provision citing that this is ‘transition period’ where the the rule is not applicable.
Similarly, Annapurna Post says the amount required to pay the ministers exceeds the amount allotted by the annual budget.
Parliamentary panel seeks legal action against NOC
Almost all newspapers have given space on their front page to news that Parliament’s Industry, Commerce and Consumer Rights Protection Committee’s conclusion that the state oil monopoly officials embezzled millions while procuring land for building petroleum storage tanks. Republica says those participating in the tender process, local level officials and staff at the land revenue offices in the districts concerned were found to be responsible for embezzling a huge amount. The Kathmandu Post says local government staffers had recommended ‘artificial prices’–much higher than the amount quoted by bidders–for the land plots that the NOC had bought to construct storage facilities. Nagarik claims that up to Rs 670 million has been embezzled in the scam.
Cars for local representatives to cost over Rs 3 billion
Republica and Nagarik, in their lead story say that the government’s preparation to provide cars to local government leaders could cost the state coffers up to Rs 3 billion. The papers estimate that a total of 1,500 cars would be needed for the purpose. The papers claim that local agents of various car manufacturers have already started lobbying to secure their bids.
Deuba’s New York visit to cost over Rs 45 million
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is heading to New York next week to attend the UN’s annual meeting with his 23-member entourage. The visit has already been approved by the Cabinet and a budget of Rs 45.5 million has been allotted for the visit.
Children being used in election rallies
Rajdhani says children are being used in election rallies in Province 2, where local elections are taking place next week. Not only is doing so against the code of conduct, it is illegal to do so.
TIA passenger growth reaches double figures
Karobar says Nepal’s only international Airport has served over 1.8 million passengers in the first six months of 2017. The figure is 13 per cent more than that recorded during the same period in 2016. A total of 27 international carriers operate out of the TIA in Kathmandu. Although the volume of passengers is growing at at steady rate, expansion of the airport and building of a new international terminal has been stalled for a long time.
Published on September 12th, Tuesday, 2017 10:11 AM