MPs demand local polls a month before term end

Published On: January 12, 2017 09:59 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 12: Lawmakers have registered an amendment to the Local Level Election Bill, demanding that an election at the local level should be held  one month before the expiry of term of the elected body . 

Keeping in mind that local bodies have remained vacant for a long time after political parties declining to go for local polls, the lawmakers have demanded a mandatory provision in the law itself on holding local polls before the elected body's term ends. 

“Instead of holding the polls after the local body term expires, as provisioned under Article 225 of the new Constitution, the elections at local levels should be held one month before expiry of the terms,” reads the amendment proposal registered by UML lawmakers Rajendra Prasad Pandey, Guru Burlakoti and Madan Kumari Shah.

Same lawmakers have demanded  in separate amendment proposals that the Election Commission should be entrusted with the authority to choose the dates for local elections at the recommendation of the government. 

Lawmakers from political parties large and small have a common demand in their separate amendment proposals that the representation of women should be ensured in the executive committees of village councils or municipalities. UML lawmaker Shah has demanded that a woman should be either the chief or deputy chief of a local body. 

However, some lawmakers have suggested adding the post of a woman deputy chief at the local level. 

Meanwhile, most lawmakers representing the Dalit community have demanded reservations for a Dalit member in the executive committee of each local body. In separate amendments, lawmakers Jeetu Gautam Darjee, Jeevan Pariyar and Seema Kumari Bishwakarma among others have demanded a guarantee of at least one Dalit member in  executive committees at the local level.

At least 17 lawmakers registered amendment proposals to separate provisions of the bill prior to the deadline which expired  Thursday. Parliament's meeting on Friday is likely to forward the amendment proposals to the State Affairs Committee along with the bill. 

Likewise, lawmakers have demanded increased punishment for crimes related to elections. Registering amendment proposals to the Election Offence and Punishment Bill, some lawmakers have suggested a maximum three-year jail term in serious election-related crimes. 

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