Row over lottery method to fix NA members' tenures stalls regulation

Published On: April 29, 2018 08:10 AM NPT By: Ashok Dahal  | @ashokpillar

KATHMANDU, April 29: A row over the lottery method to fix the tenure of 59 members of the National Assembly (NA) has stalled the upper house regulation. 

After the ruling CPN-UML and main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) and Madhes-based political parties proposed conflicting lottery methods, the drafting committee has been unable to finalize the crucial regulation for the upper house. 

The constitution requires that the tenure of National Assembly members will be maximum six years and minimum two years, and the tenure of each member should be fixed through the lottery process. The draft regulation proposes that the term of 19 members be two years, other 20 members' be four and the rest 20's be six years. 

But the row over whether to conduct the lottery only among each cluster and province or without classification of the clusters and province has stalled the finalization of the regulation. 
The draft of the regulation has proposed that such lottery should be held only among the NA members elected under each cluster. NA members were elected under five clusters including open, women, dalit or marginalized, differently-able and appointed by the president. 

The ruling parties have proposed that the lottery should be held only among three members under open and women category from each province to fix the tenure of three women and three open members for two, four and six years. “The cluster-wise lottery will be pragmatic and justifiable as it will fix a woman and an open member's term equally for two, four and six years from all the seven provinces,” said coordinator of the drafting committee Parshu Meghi Gurung of UML. 

After deciding the tenure of 21 open members and 21 women members from seven provinces to two, four and six years, the lottery is proposed to fix the tenure of eight dalit or marginalized and eight differently-able NA members for two, four and six years. As each province will have a single dalit or marginalized and differently-able member, the lottery under this cluster will be held among eight members of the all seven provinces. According to coordinator Gurung, the term of one dalit or marginalized and differently-able member each will be two years and two each for four and six years. 

Likewise, the term of the remaining three members appointed by the president will be fixed for two, four and six years through the lottery. “Our proposal will ensure election of NA members in each province and each cluster every two years,” claimed Gurung. But the NC and Madhes-based parties have claimed that it will be a tough process and cause additional financial burden on the state. They have claimed that holding lottery without classifying the clusters will also ensure equal representation from all provinces and clusters as the election for the vacant positions will be held every two years. 

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