KATHMANDU, June 12: Prospects of bringing Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) on board the election process have now legally ended, with the party refusing to submit its party details to the election body within the given deadline.
“Our efforts to bring them on board the election process have now legally ended. Now onward, RJPN cannot participate in the election in the capacity of a political party,” said Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav.
According to CEC Yadav, RJPN leaders can still contest through independent candidates if they so wish. “They have the option to contest as independent candidates. But I don’t think they are for contesting,” said Yadav adding, “They are more focused on disrupting the elections.”
On Sunday, RJPN cadres had tried to manhandle CEC Yadav in Rajbiraj, Saptari. Apart from this, poll-opposing RJPN cadres are targeting the leaders of rival political parties and government officials deployed for election purposes.
As per the Local Level Election Act 2073, any party interested in contesting the elections needs to submit details of the party officials responsible for deciding the candidacies of the party, 15 days before nominations. Keeping in mind the RJPN’s exclusion from the election process, parliament had mandated the EC to decide on its own the number of days within which parties can submit such details. Following government decision, the EC had asked RJPN to furnish details of the party leaders responsible for finalizing the candidates, their positions and their verified signatures by Monday.
RJPN is not officially registered with the EC but its leaders could contest the elections under any of the election symbols used previously by its six constituent parties. “They could contest the election using any election symbol among the six used by the parties before merging into RJPN. They ignored our call, which has ended all possibilities,” said EC spokesman Surya Prasad Sharma.
RJPN has already announced poll protest programs. Its party cadres are busy obstructing the poll campaigns of rival parties, attacking poll officers and vandalizing vehicles used in the elections.
RJPN leaders said they have no regret not getting involved in the elections.
“Elections is not the issue for us unless the government endorses the constitution amendment bill,” said RJPN leader Rajendra Mahato.