Representation of disabled persons minimal in newly-elected parliament

Published On: December 16, 2022 10:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 16: Major political parties have been blamed for not being positive about the issue of representation of persons with disabilities in parliament. The results of the recently-concluded elections to the House of the Representatives (HoR) and provincial assemblies (PA) have indicated this.

As per the national census-2068, there are 1.94 per cent persons with disabilities in the country. But out of the total 884 lawmakers elected (334 under both the HoR and the National Assembly and 550 under the provincial assemblies), there are only three disabled persons elected, which is very minimal, said chairperson of Nepal Disabled Women Association, Tika Dahal. 

According to the EC, Kaluram Rai of the CPN-UML has been elected to the HoR under the proportional representation category while Prakash Panta to the National Assembly. 

Similarly, Laxmi Ghimire represents the Bagmati Province from the Rastriya Prajatantra Party under the PR category. 

Chair Dahal shared, "Political parties are not seen as open-hearted in providing tickets to the persons with disabilities under the first-past-the-post electoral system. Although there is representation of Khas-Arya, indigenous nationalities, Madheshis, Dalits, Tharus and Muslims under the reserve quotas, the persons with disabilities have not been incorporated." 

The mandatory participation of the disabled people in parliament should be guaranteed even by amending the constitution, she demanded.

The persons with disabilities have been deprived of opportunities despite the manifestos announced by various political parties during the National Assembly election claiming the guarantee of their rights including under the PR at the federal, provincial and local levels, she blamed. Article 86 of the Constitution has guaranteed representation of differently abled people while announcing election candidacy. 

A lack of representation of the persons with disabilities in parliament is blamed on the apathy and non-responsibilities of political parties, maintained Devi Dutta Acharya, president of the National Federation of the Disabled Nepal. 

Although the government has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2006 along with its commitments to protect the rights of disabled people, its effective implementation is yet to take place, said Raju Basnet, president of the Parents Federation of the Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. 

President of the National Federation of the Deaf Nepal, KP Adhikari stressed the need for making a common policy for the equal participation of disabled people in the HoR, the National Assembly and the provincial assemblies. 

Article 84 (3) of the Constitution has ensured the participation of persons with disabilities in forming political parties and in the allocation of their membership. Similarly, Article 176 has guaranteed their participation in the formation of the provincial assemblies.



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