February 8 proposed for upper house poll

Published On: January 3, 2018 05:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 3: As part of ending the ongoing row over the process of forming the new government formation, the government has proposed February 8 as the date for the election of the National Assembly.  

In a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav Tuesday, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba proposed February 8 as the date for the upper house election. “February 8 has been proposed as the date for the upper house poll,” said Election Commissioner Ishwari Prasad Paudyal. 

At the meeting, CEC Yadav expressed his readiness to conduct the election for the upper house o the date proposed by the prime minister.  

Out of 59 members of the National Assembly, 56 will be elected by an electoral college comprising the chiefs and deputy chiefs of the 753 local units and the members of the provincial assemblies. The remaining three will be nominated by the president at the recommendation of the government.  

The date for the upper house election comes at a time when the ruling Nepali Congress on one hand and the left alliance of the CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) on the other are at loggerheads over forming the new government.  

Citing constitutional provisions, both NC and the Election Commission are for announcing the final poll results only after the upper house is formed. The left alliance is demanding the immediate release of the final poll results so that they can show a majority in parliament and form the new government. 

However, rejecting calls from the left alliance,  the EC has not allocated the proportional representation seats in the lower house even though it has completed verification of the PR votes. Poll results under Fist-Past-The-Post have already been announced. The EC has also already allocated PR seats for the provincial assemblies. 

On Tuesday, the election body submitted letters to the six parties including NC to meet the inclusiveness provisions while selecting PR candidates. These parties are being asked to revise their candidate lists by Thursday. “We plan to form the provincial assemblies within a week of getting the final winners of the provincial assemblies. And the governors will administer oath of office and secrecy to members of the provincial assemblies,” said Election Commissioner Paudyal. 

As with the forming of the new government,  NC and the left alliance are at odds over appointing the governors of the provinces.  NC wants to appoint its people as governors. The left alliance has opposed this and warning that their provincial assembly members will not take their oath of office from NC-appointed governors.

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