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Stakeholders demand voting rights for migrant workers

KATHMANDU: Speakers at a programme here stressed for a provision wherein the Nepali migrant workers abroad could cast their ballots back home by any means. 

At an interaction programme themed on the voting rights of the migrant workers and organized by People Forum in the capital city, they also suggested the concerned authorities to consider the ways for the Nepali migrant workers off-shore to help them exercise their franchise in the next local level election to be held after five years.
There are a total of 115 countries in the world having provisions for their fellow citizens in the foreign soil to vote, they shared recommending a system wherein the Nepali migrant workers could cast vote at Nepali diplomatic missions from the respective countries they work in.
Speaking at the programme, Minister for Labour and Employment Farmullah Mansoor shared that there are more than 4 million Nepalis in various labour destinations abroad.
Underscoring their participation for the meaningful election, Minister Mansoor opined that the government, to begin with, could consider the provisions in the countries with dense Nepali population and extend the provision to other countries gradually.
According to him, one and all in the country need to pile pressure on the government for ensuring voting provisions for the Nepalis abroad.
Also speaking at the programme former Chief Election Commission Nilkantha Uprety held the view that a system could be put in place so that the Nepalis abroad could vote in the proportional election if not in the First-Past-The Post.
He also suggested allowing the Nepalis there for voting one week prior to the poll in Nepal and continue allowing them to cast their ballot as per their convenience within the next week.
Joint-Secretary at the Election Commission of Nepal, Nawaraj Dhakal, shared that Commission had already conducted feasibility study thrice for the same provision. He also reiterated that the process towards this end was underway.
Forum’s advisor Som Luintel furnished recommendation to the ECN to allow the Nepali diplomatic missions abroad to collect voters list of those Nepalis coming home on holiday or on contract so that they could also vote while they are in Nepal. RSS

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