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New poll laws require parties to select PR candidates in order of closed list

File image: Parliament meeting

Kathmandu, September 14

Laws related to elections of the federal House of Representatives and the Provincial Assembly require political parties to select candidates under the Proportional Representation category in the order the candidates have been listed in the closed list submitted to the Election Commission before the polls.

This new provision restricts parties from selecting the PR candidates for parliamentary berth haphazardly thereby selecting only those loyal to the leadership.

Sub-section 6 of Section 60 of the House of Representatives Election Act says the parties should send the names of elected candidates in the same order of the closed list as far as possible. The phrase “as far as possible” suggests that the order can be breached so as to ensure proportional representation of all clusters including women, Dalits, Janajatis, Khas-Aryas, Madheshis, Tharus, Muslims and people living with disabilities.

“Now, the parties cannot remove the person who was on the top of closed list to choose the Number 2,” senior advocate and lawmaker Radheshyam Adhikari says, “The parties need valid reasons and grounds to remove the persons listed above. Further, the court can judge if the removal was right or wrong.”

But still, the Election Commission says some provisions of the new laws are challenging. For example, electing the candidates to represent all listed clusters will be difficult if a party gets fewer seats.

“We are holding discussions with parties in this regard,” says Commission’s spokesperson Nawaraj Dhakal.


Published on September 14th, Thursday, 2017 4:38 PM


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