Parties preparing for federal and province elections along with the festivals

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KATHMANDU — The fervour of the election to the House of Representatives and the State Assemblies is in the air along with that of the major festivals.

The political parties have already got themselves registered at the Election Commission for the purpose of the two elections. They have also started internal preparations for the same. As per the constitution, the elections of all levels should be conducted within January 21, 2018. The elections of the local levels have already been held.

The election to the federal parliament and the state assemblies are scheduled to be held in two phases on November 26 and December 7. With the dates for the two elections already fixed, the parties have started preparing for the elections to attract people’s votes.

Both elections will be held in the first phase on November 26 in 32 mountainous districts and in the second phase in 45 districts of the hilly and the Tarai-Madhes region on December 7.

The parties will be taking the opportunity of festivals like Bada Dashain, Tihar, Chhath and Nepal Sambat that fall in between the two elections for the purpose of electioneering.

The government and the Election Commission too are making technical, managerial and security arrangements for the two elections. The parties have expedited preparations for candidate selection and election publicity.

The Election Commission has already published the election schedule according to which the parties are to submit the closed list of candidates towards the proportional system on October 15 and the nomination of candidates towards the first-past-the-post election system on October 22.

As per the constitution, the House of Representatives would have 275 members including 165 elected through the first-past-the-post election and 110 members elected under the proportional election system.

In each State Assembly, the number of members shall be double of the number that each State sends to the House of Representatives. Likewise, 220 members shall be elected to the State Assemblies through the proportional representation (PR) system. The Parliament has already passed separate acts regarding the both elections.

For the State Assemblies election, the closed list for the PR electoral system shall be prepared by ensuring the representation of women, dalits, indigenous nationalities, Khas Arya, Madhesi, Tharu, Muslim, backward communities and minorities on the basis of population.

There shall be a 59-member National Assembly with the representation of 56 members from the States (eight from each province) and three women to be nominated by the President.

Nepali Congress central member Arjun Narsingh KC said the party’s candidacy nomination process will start after upcoming October 3 as the party is expected to receive the name lists from its rural municipality, town and district units by that time. “The NC central committee meeting has already issued an official direction to its organisational mechanism to gear up for the twin elections with the goal of achieving landslide victory ,” he added.

Likewise, the CPN (UML) has said that it has set a dream of winning the victory as in the local level elections in the upcoming central and State Assemblies elections too. Party’s recently held eighth central committee meeting formed the election mobilisation committee for the electoral publicity campaign.

According to CPN-UML Secretary Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, CPN-UML has urged all its leaders and cadres to be united for the cause of elections to the House of Representatives and State Assemblies.

The party has also drawn the attention of concerned ones within the party to pay attention to selection of candidates for these elections.

Party’s Chairman KP Sharma Oli has been provided authority to sign in the authentic letter for the candidates for both elections upon their signatures and the Standing Committee has been entrusted with the responsibility to make decisions for candidates selection.

CPN-Maoist Centre too is gearing up for the both elections by forming Election Preparation Committee. CPN-MC’s Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said that the nomination of the candidates would come to the Central office by October 2.

Senior advocate Dr Chandrakant Gyawali warned of issues that could rise while vote counting due to the complex two ballot papers prepared by the Election Commission of Nepal. He was of the opinion that there should be four ballot papers.

Dr Gyawali suggested simplifying the ballot papers for the election under the PR system. RSS