KATHMANDU, August 4: Experts on election affairs and election constituency delineation affaris have suggested the Constituency Delineation Commission (CDC) to refrain from political influence while federating the election constituencies for provincial and parliamentary elections.
They stressed on need of adopting principle of impartiality, transparency, representation, non-discrimination and equality and produce the delineation report in time so that the Election Commission will be able to conduct the elections within January 21, 2018, the constitutional deadline set for elections. "There shouldn't be gerrymandering," said Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav adding, "Local units are in place. Now, the commission should create 165 constituencies from existing 240 under first-past-the-post electoral system for parliamentary assembly without splitting local units. And each constituency can be splited into two for provincial elections"
Speaking at a program organized by Democracy and Election Concern Nepal (DECoN) entitled Electoral Constituency Delineation in Nepal CEC Yadav said the upcoming elections may be affected if the commission delays to submit the report in time. "We are already lagging behind time so the report should be produced in time," said Yadav.
On June 21, the government had formed the electoral delineation commission led by retied apex court justice Kamal Narayan Das with the mandate of competing given task within 21 days. The commission, however, is still in a dilemma over fixing priority ratio.
Election chief Yadav argued that delineating electoral constituency will not be so difficult if the commission works fairly.
The constitution has prioritized population as first priority of constituency delineation and geography as second priority. But the commissioners are at odd over determining ratio between two decisive factors of constituency delineations. "Constituency delineation should be effective, practical and effective," said Yadav.
Stating that they had faced enormous pressure from political parties while creating local units ahead of local election former Local Level Restructuring Commission Chairman Balananda Poudel suggested the CDC to work independently. "No one can challenge delineation commission's report nor can government reject the proposal. So, commissioners should work without feeling any pressure," said Poudel.
Since constitution has envisioned such delineation only after 20 years once existing commission delineates the constituencies CDC report is considered most crucial in determining state of Nepali politics.
At the function, participants have stressed on need of safeguarding interests of monitories living across the country should be safeguarded while delineating the election constituencies to enhance their political power.