Women candidates in HoR and PA elections of 2079 BS

Published On: November 25, 2022 12:47 PM NPT By: Smriti Dhungana  | @aesmriti

KATHMANDU, Nov 25: Five women candidates have been elected to the House of Representatives (HoR) in the elections held on November 20. According to the data of the Election Commission (EC), women candidates were elected from five constituencies across the country till Thursday evening. According to the EC, Sobita Gautam of Rastriya Swatantra Party was elected from Kathmandu-2 and Toshima Karki from Lalitpur-3, Bidya Bhattarai of CPN-UML from Kaski-2, Rekha Sharma of CPN (Maoist Center) from Dang-2 and Ranjita Shrestha of Nagarik Unmukti Party from Kailali-1.

Although the Constitution of Nepal stipulates that women’s participation in the HoR and the provincial assemblies should be at least 33 percent, the major political parties ignored women while distributing tickets for the elections. Because of this, only nine percent of the candidates nominated for the HoR and provincial assembly elections were women. The EC has claimed that it has repeatedly drawn the attention of political parties regarding women's representation in elections. "The Commission has repeatedly drawn the attention of political parties regarding the representation of women in the elections," said Shaligram Sharma Paudel, spokesperson for the Election Commission. "The Commission had directed the political parties to nominate women candidates in one-third of the seats,the political parties have given more representation of women candidates to reach one third seats after the directive of the EC,” added spokesperson Paudel.

According to the data of the EC, in terms of direct election, 225 candidates for 165 seats in the House of Representatives (HoR) and 280 candidates for 330 seats in the provincial assemblies were nominated. This time, 2,412 candidates competed for the HoR. Similarly,the names of 2,191 candidates on the proportional side of the House of Representatives remain in the closed list.

Similarly, 3,224 candidates are competing in terms of direct elections for the provincial assemblies. The names of 3,708 candidates for the proportional representation of the provincial assemblies have been kept in the closed list. This time, 5,636 candidates are contesting for the direct seats in the HoR and the provincial assemblies, while the names of 5,907 candidates in the proportional seats remain in the closed lists.

A total of 25 women from the ruling alliance led by Nepali Congress and the opposition alliance led by UML have got the opportunity to contest direct elections. Different parties had given place for women candidacy, which includes, UML-11 women candidates, CPN (Maoist Center) seven women candidates, Nepali Congress (NC) five women candidates, CPN (Unified Socialist) and Rastriya Janamorcha party with one women candidate each. About 8 percent of the total candidates fielded by CPN-UML in the elections across the country, about 16 percent by the Maoist Center of the ruling coalition and about 5 percent by the Nepali Congress gave women the opportunity to run for the candidacy. 

Bidya Bhattarai, who won the direct election to the HoR in 2074 BS from Kaski-2, has won from the same constituency this time as well. Nepali Congress (NC) Joint General secretary Mahalakshmi Upadhyay from Makwanpur-1 and former Deputy Speaker Pushpa Bhusal from Arghakhanchi have been defeated in the election.

CPN-UML's Manju Sharma Chalise from Baglung-2, Nirudevi Pal from Kanchanpur-3 and Gauri Oli from Doti-1 faced defeat. Similarly, Deputy General Secretary and Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation of Nepal from Maoist Center Pampha Bhusal from Lalitpur-3 has been defeated, former speaker Onsari Gharti from Kathmandu-2, Manushi Yami Bhattarai from Kathmandu-7, Kalpana Dhamala from Kathmandu-9 and Anjana Bishankhe from Kathmandu-10 were also defeated. Ram Kumari Jhakri, secretary of the CPN (Unifies Socialist) and former minister for Urban Development, from Gulmi-2 has also been defeated. RPP's Kuntikumari Shahi from Dailekh-1 and Kuntidevi Pokharel from Kathmandu-2 have been defeated. Ranju Darshana from Kathmandu-5 has lost the election badly and the amount she had deposited as security at the election commission has been forfeited this time.

On the other hand, the counting of votes has been going on in several constituencies including-Sita Gurung of NC from Tehrathum, Sujata Koirala from Morang-2 and Chitralekha Yadav from Sirha-2, Padma Aryal of UML from Syangja-2, Komal Oli from Dang-3, Bhagwati Chaudhary from Sunsari-3, Jwala Shah from Bara-3, Manju Chaudhary from Udaipur-1, Dhanusha 3 Julikumari Mahaot from Dhanusha-3 and Shanta Chaudhary from Dhang-1.

In the HoR election of 2074 BS, 90 women - six directly and 84 proportionally - reached parliament. In the second Constituent Assembly (CA) election, 176 women reached parliament -10 directly, 159 proportionally and four nominated by the Council of Ministers. In the first Constituent Assembly election of 2064 BS, 197 women reached parliament - 30 directly, 161 through the proportional election system, and six nominated by the Council of Ministers. 3.6 percent of women won directly in the 2074 BS HoR. In the second Constituent Assembly election of 2070 BS, 4.16 percent and 12.5 percent of women were directly elected in the Constituent Assembly election of 2064 BS. 


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