Parties, independent candidates provided election symbols

Published On: May 6, 2017 05:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 6: Returning officers in 283 local units of three provinces – 3,4 and 6 - provided election symbols to political parties and independent candidates contesting the first phase of local elections slated for May 14.

Election symbols were distributed a day after the local returning officers finalized the names list of candidates contesting the elections. Election Commission (EC) Spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma said, "The local election offices have distributed the election symbols in accordance with the ballot papers."

Parties represented in parliament are allowed to contest the elections based on their party symbols while other parties and independent candidates received independent symbols. Only 27 parties represented in parliament will get the chance to contest the election with their party symbols. "We were compelled to do so as required by the electoral law," said Spokesperson Sharma.

An electoral law related to the political party restricts the EC to give common election symbols to parties other than those represented in parliament. Candidates of the parties other than those represented in parliament will have to contest the elections with separate election symbols even if they field their candidates across the country. Parties represented in parliament, however, will enjoy the privilege of using common election symbols in the elections wherever their candidates contest.

As per ballot paper designed by the EC, Kishore Thapa, a mayoral candidate for the Kathmandu Metropolitan City from the newly-formed Sajha Party has received camera as his election symbol. Sajha Party's deputy mayoral candidate Nirupama Yadav has received selroti as her election symbol.

Another independent candidate Ranju Neupane Darshana, who has been fielded by Bibeksheel Nepali Party, has received waistcoat as her election symbol.

Naya Shakti Nepal (NSN) and Federal Socialist Forum Nepal, which have forged an electoral alliance, have received Masal (torch) as their election symbol. The Baburam Bhattarai-led NSN was protesting against the decision not to give common election symbols to the parties other than those represented in parliament. 

The EC is conducting the first phase of elections in 283 local units of provinces 3, 4 and 6 on May 14 while the second round of elections is scheduled for June 14 in the remaining provinces. 

Altogether 49,754 candidates are contesting for 13,556 posts in 283 local units in the first phase of the elections. Nearly half of the candidates are said to be women as per the electoral provisions.

Despite progressive provisions for ensuring women representation in candidacy selection, very few female candidates have filed their nominations for the chiefs of the local units. Women candidates have mostly been confined to the candidacies for deputy chiefs.

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