FPTP ballots to be separate, EC chief tells SC

Published On: October 31, 2017 05:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, OCT 31: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Ayodhee Prasad Yadav furnished clarifications to the Supreme Court  Monday, stating that the Election Commission (EC) has decided to print the First-Past-the-Post ballots separately and that he does not have any intention of disrespecting the apex court order regarding the upcoming parliamentary elections. 

“I don't have any intention of disrespecting the Supreme Court and a decision has already been talem to print separate ballots for the FPTP vote,” stated CEC Yadav in his three-page response submitted to the apex court. According to him, every voter shall have the right to cast ballots separately for the House of Representatives and the provincial assembly. He also stated that arrangements have already been made respecting the rights of the voters in line with the apex court order.

“Respecting the order of the apex court, a decision has been taken to print FPTP ballot papers for the House of |Representatives and the provincial assemblies on separate sheets of paper. So I should not be held responsible personally, as representing my organization or in any other way, for disrespect towards the court.,” the reply stated. He further requested the court to annul the contempt of court case filed against him by Rastriya Janata Party Nepal Secretary General Sarvendra Nath Shukla.

On October 25, the apex court had asked the CEC to furnish his response within three days why action should not be taken against him for violating an October 18 order that expected the EC to ensure the printing of separate ballots for the FPTP elections to parliament and the provincial assemblies. The court notice was served to the EC only on Saturday.

CEC Yadav, however, stated that the ballots for elections under the proportional election system have already been printed, and so the EC could not arrange separate ballot papers for the indirect elections  as per Section 35 of the House of Representatives Members Election Act, 2017 and Section 35 of the Provincial Assembly Members Election Act, 2017.  

Informing about the decision of the EC taken yesterday, the CEC also forwarded a letter sent to Janak Education Materials Centre to print separate ballot papers.

In his written reply, Yadav further said that the EC has already issued directives to the agencies concerned to ensure the amending of various directives and arrange voter education materials, ballot papers and transportation of the materials in line with the new arrangements for separate ballots.  

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