Parliamentary panel directs Home Ministry to create environment for by-election

Published On: December 19, 2018 05:39 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 19: The State Affairs and Good Governance Committee under the House of Representatives has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to create environment for preparing for the election to the vacant posts in the Province Assemblies and the local levels within mid-May 2019. 

The committee’s meeting held today issued this directive to the government citing that public service would be hampered when the posts of people’s representatives in the province assembly and local levels remained vacant for long. 

It has urged the Election Commission to make available in two weeks the exact data regarding the vacant positions of people’s representatives in the Province Assembly and the local levels. The committee also asked the Election Commission to submit details regarding the existing laws that need to be amended and the new laws that need to be formulated for conducting the bye-election to fill the vacant posts of people’s representatives. 

Likewise, the committee has urged the EC to submit a report, after discussing with the Home Ministry, as to how the Supreme Court’s order of participating the Nepali citizens who are abroad in connection to foreign employment or various other works in the voting could be implemented. 

Speaking in the committee meeting before this, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa said the laws required for holding the bye-election to the vacant posts in the province assemblies and local levels were in the process of being amended and that these would be passed in the upcoming session of the parliament. 

Chief Election Commissioner Dr Ayodhee Prasad Yadav said the EC did not have the power to fix the date for the election and the prevailing laws needed to be amended for holding the bye-election to the post of Ward Chairperson of the local level. 

Election Commissioner Ishwari Prasad Poudyal related the difficulties the Commission has been facing in managing the elections as the date of the periodic elections were not specified by law. He argued that it would be easier to manage the election logistics if the election dates were fixed in the Election Act itself. 

It was also shared in the meeting that 233 thousand 500 more voters completing 18 years age have been added throughout the country to the number of voters since last April till now. 

Home Secretary Prem Kumar Rai informed the committee that the process for amending the laws required for conducting the bye-election to the vacant posts in the province and local levels was in progress and the Ministry was prepared to make security arrangements for the bye-elections. 

Two posts of people’s representatives in two province assemblies and 30 posts in the local levels across the country are lying vacant due to the death of the elected people’s representatives or conviction in corruption case by the Supreme Court. 

Elections are also to be held to about 175 posts of dalit women representatives and to the post of the Coordinator of the District Coordination Committee in 77 districts. 

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