KATHMANDU, July 10: The Election Commission (EC) has refused to provide new election symbol to Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) for third round of local elections slated for September 18 in Province 2.
RJPN, the party formed after merger of six Madhes-based parties, had last week submitted an application seeking registration of the party for election demanding umbrella as their election symbol. The Election Commission, however, has refused to do so saying that the ballot papers for Province 2 elections have already been printed.
The elections in Province 2 were also scheduled for June 28 but the government rescheduled them for September in a bid to bring the poll-opposing parties on board the elections process. RJPN had boycotted the first and second rounds of elections. But some of its leaders contested the elections as independents in some election constituencies of Province 5 despite the party's official stance to boycott the elections.
After the successful completion of the first two rounds of local elections, the poll-opposing parties have indicated their willingness to participate in the third round of elections in Province 2, where they have strong presence. They, however, have demanded to ensure their party's symbol, umbrella, as election symbol and endorse the constitution amendment bill registered at the parliament.
"Providing new election symbol to RJPN for third round of local elections is not possible from both legal and technical aspects," said Election Commissioner Narendra Dahal, adding, "Law does not allow us to give new election symbols in the context of polls already declared and ballot papers printed."
Commissioner Dahal, however, said they can provide new election symbol to RJPN for the upcoming provincial and central parliamentary elections supposed to be conclude by January 2018, the constitutional deadline.