KATHMANDU: A day after the United Democratic Madhesi Front demanded 30 more days to register the left out voters, the Election Commission made public its election program hinting that the front’s demand will be difficult to meet.
According to EC’s election schedule, the political parties who wish to contest Constituent Assembly elections slated for November 19 under proportional representation system can file their nominations beginning September 23 and the candidates for the first-past-the-post election system can do so from September 26. Final lists of candidates under PR and FPTP system will be made public on November 9 and October 3, respectively.
Unveiling a detailed election action plan 109 days ahead of the polls, the EC on Thursday said the list of the candidates will be made public the day after the nominations—September 24 and 27—to solicit public complaints, if any. The EC will take another day to investigate complaints filed against the candidates and take a call on whether to approve the names. On the subsequent day, the EC will publish the second list of the candidates that go through the public complaints and its own scrutiny.
In line with the electoral law, all convicts of serious crimes will not find a place in the list. However, unlike in the past, those accused of crimes will be allowed to contest the polls. In June, major political parties amended the electoral law to this effect after strong criticism from different quarters.
EC spokesperson Bir Bahadur Rai said the EC will take decisions on arranging logistics and human resources right after the report of the constituency delimitation commission (CDC) is released.
So far, the EC has completed voter registration with photos and finger prints, while the party registration process is at its final stages. Over 12.3 million voters are already registered into the digital voter registration system, while 109 parties have been registered with the EC so far.
EC officials said they will begin installing polling stations and deployment of election officials after they get the CDC report and after the number of parties contesting the polls is finalized.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission is concerned about the way the Constituency Delimitation Commission (CDC) is seeking term extensions and about the demand from some political parties to re-open voter registration.
Formed on June 25, the CDC was asked to prepare a report within a month. While its term was extended for 10 more days after it failed to submit a report within one month, the commission is now again seeking more time. This time around it says a new member who has just joined the CDC needs time to get acquainted with the commission’s proceedings.
The schedule came despite resistance from 33-party alliance led by CPN-Maoist and other parties. They have been demanding resignation of the Chief Justice led government and increasing the number of constituencies under Proportional Representation System. The government and four major political parties have been trying to woo the opposing parties but their effort is yet to get any tangible result. The poll opposing parties have been organizing various protest programs against the election programs.
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